15 June 2014

I Know That God Must Love Me

I know that God must love me because, he's given me my daughter Tara.  Happy birthday darlin' girl.

She has a light in her soul
She opens up her heart
She shows me where the sun is
She can always ease my pain.

I know that God must love me
He showed me with His grace
I knew just how completely
When I saw my angel's face.

And in that very important moment
When she came into my world
I knew that she was so much more
Than just my baby girl.

She's my closest friend
The reason I do my best.
She has a smile that an angel might envy.

Some of these photos's are a few years old but, I'm in Ireland and don't have all my files. 
My internet takes forever to load a photo. 
 I like to keep my kids suspended in time. 
I wish I could keep them strapped into their seat belts in my car forever. 
I never wanted them to grow up and leave me. 
Forgive me,  I'm a stinkin' mess.
I will  carry on now.

Tara grew up to be a beautiful young woman and married her best friend.

About twelve minutes after they were married they bought a puppy they called, Hank. (Sorry, no pictures of Hank.)   Just like her momma, (wink!) you could tell that she had that maternal feeling going on.   First she and Jason had four strapping, handsome, boisterous boys.

Then this little ray of sunshine graced our lives.  First baby girl after all the brothers.

 Then about every two years she does this.  Self explanatory.

When you make babies this beautiful, and you parent in a way that is admirable and full of grace, the world is every single day, made just a little lovelier.

And this is number seven, bringing us to four boys and three girls.  I know what you're thinking!  One more and we're even.  Okay, maybe that's just what I'm thinking.

This is our big, beautiful family whom I live for.  I'm off writing in Ireland on a painting and writing retreat, missing them with all my heart and soul.  Tara, this is for you - for your belated birthday because, you are the poem I dreamed of writing.  The masterpiece I longed to paint.  You are the shining star I reached for in my ever hopeful quest for life fulfilled.
You are my child and now with all things I am blessed.

Happy birthday sunshine.

Love you more than all the shamrocks in Ireland,


30 May 2014

Surfing Soul Sisters

Friday, 30 May 2014

Since it's still Friday, even over here in Ireland where I'm on a working holiday, I decided to post a "Flashback Friday" on this here blog spot of mine.  Quick and sweet, a visual treat.  Two sisters, (my daughter's) about 6 years ago, on a surf outing, just across the road from our cottage by the sea.  It's the sweet, sweet soul of sisters enjoying summer.  Come along, let's pretend it's 2008!

 How do people make it through life without a sister?
-Sara Corpening-

 I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers.  It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage.  Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.
-Maya Angelou- May she rest in eternal peace.

 Ready...Get set...


A sister is a forever friend.  When sister's stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? 

-Pam Brown-

 Short boarding, yea!

"I think I'll just lie out here in the great outdoors and ponder life."

In thee my soul shall own
Combined the sister and the friend
-Catherine Killigrew-

Look at the sea, girls - all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen.  We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds."

 My heart.

 My soul.

 My life.

Mutual weirdness forever!

When I grow up I want to be a beach bum.

Hear the sound of the waves and relax,  it's Flashback Friday.

We're rolling into summer, friends.  What are your plans?  Lay it on me!

Blessings from the Emerald Isle,


28 April 2014

Surprises From The Cottage

Well hey, and welcome back to the cottage.  Back in my last post I promised that I'd let you in on what I've been doing in lieu of blogging, these past few months.

One of the things I mentioned in my last post was, a "surprise" pregnancy.  If you watched the movie of the baptism of our two newest grandchildren in my last post, you may have caught on to who surprised us!  If you want, you can catch up a bit with our Maggie's life as it was last year, right here- when we were taking her back to Illinois to go to University.  I'll get back to the surprise in just a sec.  Okay?  Okay.

One of the other great events in our life back then was, the graduation of our son Cooper, from University.  I wrote all about that right here on Graduation Day!

Oh!  What a celebration we had.  Four years of hard work and we all came together to stand by his side as he took his first steps into what would be a whole new life.  He's moved to San Francisco, California to take a job with an Architectural Design Firm, confirming the fact that I truly now do have, an empty nest. Ahhhhhhhh euuuuu ahhh sob sob sob slurp snot sob wahhhhhhhhhhh.  More about that later.

As you can easily see in this family photo, our eldest daughter Tara, is very pregnant with her seventh baby.  Our little Rebecca Kathleen was born last fall and I invite you to read all about that right here with just a click.  We Welcome With Love.  Look at this face.  You're not gonna want to miss it.

This is Rebecca (or, baby Brebecca) as her sister Abby tends to call her.  She is in the arms of her godmother, my daughter, Kate.

Then, this guy, you might remember him if you're a regular reader.  My son, Dylan, got another of his bright ideas.  Oh these kids… Kids!  He began a regime of preparation to enter the US Army.

Life kept rolling along way to quickly, (at least for me) and it was time for our youngest son to realize his dream.  Once again, with fear and trepidation, and happiness backed by pride, we saw him on his way.  You get the picture now, and you can see my handsome soldier and the beginning of his journey, right here at, An American Soldier.

Now let's see.  Am I forgetting anything?  It's been a loooong, interesting, frightening, thrilling, year full of change.  Have I mentioned that I'm not a big fan of change?

Friends, let me just say that, I do get it.  I've been a mom for 37 years.  It's what I dreamed of since I was a little girl.  It's the only thing I ever really wanted to be.  When other kids were hanging their star on becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse or a garbage collector.  All I wanted was to become a mom.  I understood that when you had kids your job was to love and protect them and to help and guide them through life and into becoming an independent, responsible human being who gives back to the world through their own lives.  But something in my brain just didn't click way back then, regarding the fact that all that guiding to independence would lead to them leaving me.  I swear, I just didn't get that part of the memo.  Embarrassingly enough, I thought that I'd raise these amazing people who would become my very best friends and we'd live next door to each other and live communally for the rest of our lives.  Seriously, I regret to say this is true.  But I found out in a face smacking, wallop upside the head way this year, that my little brain had it all wrong.  These most treasured, our kids, whom we love unconditionally, do grow up and have minds of their own and seek, SEEK independence.  And that's a good thing dammit!   Unfortunately, in this day and age it means they will most often be spread out far and wide.  I now have kids in Washington, Northern California, Illinois and Kentucky.  God gave me a break and one of them lives only 45 minutes away, right here in good ol Southern California.  (Tara, did I ever tell you that you're my favorite :)

I think I've caught you up on everybody except Kate and her husband Justin.  They are the couple who live in Washington.  (The wet one not the political one.)  After getting her degree in business, Kate decided, after her husband got a job transfer to Seattle, that she would go back to Nursing school.  She is loving it, and I know she will make an amazing nurse.  Doctor's and nurses tend to run in our family so, she knows what she's getting into.  Let me just say, although being a mom does tend to involve nursing of all sorts, it doesn't prepare you for things like cleaning Pannis.  You'll have to look it up, I just can't talk about it. When she tries to explain all the amazing things she's learning about and doing in her practicums - I often have to put my hands over my ears and mumble inside my head to hide the horrors of her future profession.  But really, GOD BLESS NURSES.  And while you're praying, could you pray that when she graduates she and her hubby come back and live somewhere nearby?  Thanks.

Moving forward now, let me introduce you to Ian.  Ian is Maggie's true love.  She met him at University in Illinois, where he is on a Volleyball scholarship.  You might be able to see from this picture, that volleyball would be a sport he may excel in.  Maggie is 5'9" tall so that makes Ian, yup, 6'7" tall.  His dad is taller than that and his uncle is taller than that!
Maggie and Ian surprised us last year right about the time Cooper graduated and we were celebrating that, with the news that they were expecting a baby in December.  Life is just full of surprises isn't it?  Just when you think things are working out one way, they aren't.  But the beauty of that is that, the best laid plans sometimes turn into even better ones.  I don't know who made the rule, certainly not I.  I would have things stay nice and cozy and expected and the same! You can't say I haven't explained to you how I feel about change. (Except for a few fun vacations now and then which I'm all for.)  You may not think this from all you know about me but, I handled this surprise the best of all of us yahoo's which was the real surprise!  It was quite the tactical maneuver, which even our soldier couldn't figure out, to tell mom.  Oh yeah.  I was the last to know.  Which instills the fact that sometimes  I don't always handle surprises well.  But one thing I live by is Love. And I love my children unconditionally, even though sometimes I want to smack them into tomorrow.   I know, I know, all the rules and all the regulations, all the precepts you try to teach your children, you think they hear you.  You think they will adhere to your uncompromising wisdom brought down through the ages.  Well, I've got news.  It doesn't always happen that way.  Say WHAT?

Phone calls were made, plane tickets were purchased, families rallied. It will always be easy to remember from now on, who is who.  We are the mini family up there starting with my hubby on the left.  They are the long and lean.  Obviously.   Maggie and Ian had a lot of decisions to make and since they are so young, they wanted their parents there to help them.  And we were.  We are.  They are. And we are all lucky we are!  I don't even know how to put into words (which is funny seeing as it's me.)  But, these people who were one day strangers, then unexpectedly  brought into our lives, are one of the most amazing, loving, gracious, beautiful in every way, family's I've ever known.  Suffice it to say, this could have gone so many ways.  I think I can sum it up by saying, God's grace is mighty! 

And life went on.  
 And on.

 And on.
 And on.
 And on.

It takes 9 months ya know?

 Now that's a surprise to celebrate.

Labor started just after we had sat down to dinner on 16th December.  Things went along slowly and gently and it wasn't until Maggie came into our room around midnight that, we panicked.  Just kidding.  It's not like we haven't done this before.  Oh heck, who am I fooling?  Every time seems like the first time and every time can go a different way.  Here we are back at the crossroads of 'change' again.

After almost 24 hours of labor the little one's heartbeat was in stress and it was decided that a c-section was in order.  Oh my gosh.  The gnashing of teeth, the pulling of hair, the biting of tongue (and that was just me!)  But in no time at all, and by the grace of God, our little Finnegan Scott entered the world and was gently placed in his mommy and daddy's welcoming arms.

Once again, baby love, has graced our lives.

Lots has happened since then, and as life goes on, so it changes. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I guess I'll just have to reconcile with that. But, do tell?

Soon I will blog joyous wedding pictures, more graduations, and well, you just never know, do you? I have so many photos and there is so much action around here, I could fill up blog posts from now until…   Meantime though, Finn has something he wants to say and then I'll let you go.

I'm glad my family did.


(and can you tell I just love this swing?)

Once again, from my cottage and until the next blog.

Love you more than I hate change :) Okay, hate is a big word.  Dislike.

Tia xoxo

18 April 2014

Time Fly's At Cottage By The Sea

As they say, "where does the time go?"  I sure have missed y'all in my long absence.  My only excuse is that, I've been living my life and ignoring my blog.  I'm off to Ireland again soon though so, I thought I'd get my writing skills honed a wee bit before I hit the road.

This past few months, when it seemed as if I'd dropped off the face of the blogging world, I've been intensely busy.  We had a graduation from University, a surprise pregnancy, an engagement, my daughter started nursing school, another moved across country, two grandchildren were born, my soldier made Ranger school and my eldest son got a job with the largest design/architectural firm in the world!  So…. I promise to tell all the stories to the horror of my children  because, I've never been one to hold back.  They don't know it yet, but that's actually why they love me!

Before I venture back to the old country, where I am afforded the time, space and inspiration to write and write and write; here is a little something I love watching over and over.  I want to share it with you because, even though I know I've been gone for so long, I know you're still out there and will come say hi again.  Isn't that why we're here?  I know how much it means to me to have this space to share and to be able to come into your homes and share your lives too.

This is my precious family, didn't strangle a-one this year as we baptise the two newest members of our clan, Rebecca and Finnegan.

Come visit me and let me know how you're doing.  I'll write you back and visit your blog too.  I missed each and every one of you.  I truly did!  Until then, on this Good Friday and as always.



I hope you can see the following video.  If you can't I've done something terribly wrong on this dang contraption again.  But the video is kind of a summation of the past few months.  Let me know , K?


And don't think I haven't forgotten that I owe you a sunset or two from our vantage at the cottage.  I feel better already.  How about you?

Love you more than all the sunsets.  Love.  Pass it on.

29 December 2013

Epiphany House Blessing

After we remodeled our house, we wanted to have it blessed again.  The traditional time for blessing ones house is Epiphany, 5 January, during the Christmas Season.  Again this year we will bless our home, but here's a little tour from when we last had our house blessed.

Our family priest, Monsignor Purcell, came to do the blessing (although you can do it yourself too.)  Our whole family was present and I quite embarrassed them by having every room blessed, including the laundry, and the bathrooms.  One never knows.  I spend a lot of time in my laundry room!

We gathered together to give thanks for the blessing of our home.  Each room  This home where we play, pray and rest together.

Monsignor Purcell is a blessing to our family.  He is counselor, spiritual director, friend a priest of great inspiration.  We go to him for all our sacraments and, well, just about everything!

Here he is after blessing our house,  entering the date in our family Bible. We feel it is the last touch to make our home; our home sweet home.

 May we be worthy of our blessings, and not have to mop up to many messes.  I told you our priest does everything for us!

From our home to yours, this new year, may your loved ones be healthy, your life filled with true joy and your home be blessed.

If you'd like to do your own house blessing on Epiphany here's how.
Items needed:  chalk and a small bottle of holy water.  Gather with family members, friends, and perhaps some neighbors at the from door.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Tradition names the magi:
Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
With chalk, their initials sigh this doorway, along with four crosses of the seasons, and the numerals of the new year.
(20 + C + M + B + 14)

Let us pray:  Christus mansionem benedicat.
May Christ bless this house, Amen.

Each room is sprinkled with holy water.

Living room:
Bring us to live with you one day in heaven.
Bless this room, O Lord. Amen.

You prepare for us a rich feast.
Bless this room, O Lord. Amen.

Dining room:
Feed us at the heavenly banquet.
bless this room O Lord. Amen.

In your alone we rest securely.
Bless this room, O Lord. Amen.

You cleanse us from every impurity.
Bless this room, O Lord. Amen.

all return to the front door to pray together.

Our Father…

All are sprinkled with holy water.

Bless this household through all days to come, father, son, and Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

From our house to yours, It's still the Christmas Season.  Live life to the fullest!