What I Need

I was driving and listening to one of the Christian radio stations we have here and the dj played an intro to a song. The intro was from one of the artists who’s song was about needing Jesus. And it hit me. I need Him. I really do. I was thinking of all the times in my life I thought I could do it on my own or thought I was doing things in my own strength and how very wrong I was/am.

I started thinking of how many times I didn’t thank God for his goodness and mercy. I repented for transgressions that happened a long time ago. He knows. I’m sitting here at the ferry terminal waiting to go to work and I realize He is here. Right here in this building full of people waiting to get to work, school, tourists… Our Lord and Savior is alive and well and He is with us wherever we go even in times or trial, especially in times of trial. I never before thought of The Lord as being so… so tangible. His love is amazing and all anyone has to do to receive it is accept Him as your Savior; the Lord of your life.

I also thought of The Gospel. The truth that God sent his only son who lived a sinless life to die a horrible death for us all of us. It’s so very humbling and unreal and so very real at the same time.  The Gospel is indeed good news!

I thought of all this while driving home from bringing my daughter to my Mom’s for a sleepover. It’s amazing how God will meet you where you are when you’re least expecting it. He meets you where you are… You don’t need to be “perfect” or cleaned up or have your act together to meet Him. The Lord takes you as you are and loves you as you are.

Weight gain

I’m the heaviest right now than I’ve ever been in my life aside from being pregnant. I loathe it; seriously. I tried Weight Watchers and managed to lose 10 pounds but then fell off the wagon around Easter and I’ve had a very difficult time going back to counting points and wondering if I was over my point allowance, did I use up all my “extra” points for the week? I was inspired to try Weight Watchers from my cousin Toni who was and still is doing great on the program. I’m back to being inspired by her and back to following the program. Hopefully I’ll keep it up and lose more weight. I’ve always been on the thin side. I know smoking did help with keeping my weight in check. I’m not advocating smoking cigarettes as a weight loss aide but whether it be the nicotine or any of the other (God knows how many) chemicals in cigarettes there’s something there that keeps your appetite from being out of control.

My husband is wonderful and has never mentioned my weight gain,  he tells me not to worry. I think he’s concerned that I may stop taking the anti depressant that caused the weight gain. I won’t do that, it took me long enough to find the right combo of meds to make me not be depressed. I would not want to start over again. If I have to choose being happy and overweight/thin and depressed I’ll chose happy and overweight. I can’t tell you what it took to admit that and even type it out. I really don’t enjoy shopping for clothes anymore. Don’t get me wrong I still do my thrift shopping gig but I get a bigger kick out of shoes and bags more than ever before. There’s no judgement or “fit” for shoes and bags. The right shoe or bag can elevate anything you’re wearing and just make you feel fabulous.

I’ve also ventured into the love of watches. Don’t ask I don’t know where that one came from. I’m thinking much like shoes and bags; with wearing a watch it really doesn’t matter what size you are. Finding watches while thrifting is not easy, there are people who thrift or yard sale shop specifically for watches. I’ve managed to find a couple of nice ones but nothing much to write home about.

So here’s to being back on Weight Watchers and keeping track of points and staying within the lines of their rules.

For the love of shoes and bags…

If anyone knows me they are well aware of what a shoe and bag whore I am. Even more so now that I’ve gained weight from medications I have to take. Shoes and bags don’t make you look anything but good (given you’re not breaking any fashion police rules and regulations). They always fit and always make me happy.

My loving husband recently asked me in an exasperated way do I really *need* as many shoes as I have. My short answer is yes, yes I do need them all. And don’t ask how many pairs I have I’ve yet to officially count. Each pair of shoes serves a specific purpose and/or mood and/or outfit. I know I’m not alone in my shoe habit. A recent conversation with my sister outed her as a boot whore. Hmmm…I wasn’t surprised. A similar conversation with my mother reminded me of her own large shoe collection.

Now before anyone cares to judge one can take a look at one’s own possessions and note if a pattern or series of replicas exist. I’m sure there is something out there. We all have our “thing(s)”.

My shoe obsession began around age 17. I bought many a pair and color of inexpensive high heel pumps as that was the style back then. I seriously have no idea how many pairs of shoes I owned but it was quite a bit. When I moved in with my husband my Dad literally filled up his small mini van with all my shoes to move them from his and my mothers house to Tommy’s apartment.  My soon to be husband I remember wasn’t thrilled. Neighbors thought my father was selling shoes out of his van.  They were asking if he had specific sizes. Good times…

I started getting into bags around 2002.  To beat the stress of living with Thomas and his out of control behavior I would surf the web looking at handbags, expensive handbags.  I still do it and  call it my mind candy.  Handbags like shoes aren’t size specific. So today  I’ve amassed a sizable handbag collection. So I’m not  kidding if I put in my Facebook status that I’m contemplating what bag to change into.  Sometimes it takes a lot of thought and consideration of what I’m about to wear and what the weather is going to be like. Yes, I have specific rainy day bags and no my bags don’t match my shoes. They’re not supposed in case you’re wondering.







A new living room

We recently purchased new living room furniture. It marks a milestone for us, meaning Tommy and me. We’re taking back our house. No longer are we tripping over toys or watching the same children’s television programs over and over and over. The living room is ours again and it feels good.

Before the new furniture we had a sectional couch which was great it was big and comfy. We bought that shortly after Samantha was born so around 8 years ago-ish. Between Samantha growing up on that couch literally and the 3 cats and 2 dogs, well it had seen better days. So in between talking about renovating this house to an open concept lay out and moving the sectional around along with re positioning the television we discussed “looking” at new furniture. Ha! So much for looking. We were hooked pretty much a half hour into “looking”. The salesman was awesome and recommended we return to buy in a few days to take advantage of a new sale that was to be going on.

We did return and looked around some more. It’s funny because I find that my husband and I have similar taste. It wasn’t always like this. I used to adore a shabby chic, antique-y style. Tommy was more modern/classic. I guess I’ve changed because Tommy still likes the classic/modern style and I do too, but more classic/traditional. I don’t think I’ll ever prefer a modern style. Besides this house was built in 1935, I don’t think it can handle “modern” without looking out of place.

So anyway the new sofa, love seat, coffee table, end tables, lamps and entertainment center/electric fireplace arrived this past Wednesday. I can’t get over it. It’s been forever that we’ve had a coffee table as odd as that sounds. With the sectional sofa we had a chaise lounge so there really wasn’t any room for a table. We’re almost giddy with the normalcy of having living room tables again. I’ve promptly bought candles to place on the coffee table. It’s been forever it seems since I’ve been able to have things on a coffee table without worrying about something being broken or unsafe.

We’re enjoying our re-claimed space. I dream of reclaiming my bathroom someday.

On being 45 and bathing suits part 2

So I’m really not feeling the bikini vibe even though I thought I would. I kept trying on my 2 piece bathing suits and expecting my 20 something body to suddenly reappear when I looked in the mirror. Much to my disappointment it didn’t happen. I am stuck with this “I had 4 kids and I don’t do crunches” body. So off I went in search of a new bathing suit in the middle of August. As you can imagine the pickings are quite slim. I stopped at one discount department store but had no luck. Plus the dressing room lighting and mirror seemed extra harsh and that made it even harder to determine if what I was seeing was truth or not. I thought about all the women who complain about dressing room lighting and mirrors and well they’re right. What are store designers thinking when they design dressing rooms? They aren’t thinking of flattering their customers I can tell you that.

So after dinner I started looking online at Macys.com. The website had a decent selection so I figured maybe the store does too.Alyssa and Daniella had plans so I dragged my 9 year old, Samantha with me. I was pretty optimistic I’d find something. After much hunting and searching I did manage to find a couple of sets that matched and were my size, unfortunately I didn’t like the way they looked. Finally after much grumbling from the 9 year old I hit the jackpot! A two piece bathing suit with netting like material that covers my whole stomach/abdominal area. The top bodice is bikini like which I love and it offers the coverage of a tankini   http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/hula-honey-crochet-halter-tankini-top-side-tie-brief-bottom?ID=1749615&CategoryID=8699&LinkType=#BVRRContainer this is the suit and I am so happy with it.

So there you have it, adventures in swim suit buying, Summer 2015. With a happy ending.


I have this song running through my head this morning, Blessings by Laura Story. Yesterday my husband and I were talking to a neighbor who also has a special needs daughter. Many of you know about our Thomas who is also special needs. We’ve been through many, many trials with Thomas. And everytime I hear this song I think of him. What if our greatest trial is God’s blessing in disguise?

Anyway, when we were speaking with our neighbor she mentioned that she often wonders what her daughter would have been like had things been different. My husband replied that he often thinks the same thing about Thomas. I do think that also about Thomas. The big “what if?”  What if he’d been born “normal”?. What if? It almost makes you loathe the word, “if”. That word can hold so much. Thomas is one of the greatest achings of my life. It still pains me that he cannot live at home. I know my husband feels the same. I love Thomas for who he is now, not what he could have been. Thomas being the way he is changed me as a mother. And if I were to be able to change him to a “normal” person, would I then have to change myself to how I was before he was in my life?

I honestly don’t dwell on the what ifs because it is pointless. I tend to focus on the present and future which can hold enough worry all by themselves.  But this song speaks so perfectly to my heart. Especially when she sings, “This is not our home…”  No, this is not our home. I often wonder if when I do meet our Lord will I ask Him questions about my earthly life. Thomas being in the forefront of those queries. Why were we chosen to be his parents? Why did God make things so challenging? Why the heartache? Or will I even care at that point? What I do believe is that when Thomas meets the Lord and joins us, I believe he will tell us himself. It will be glorious to hear my son talk clearly and coherently. I was given a glimpse of this in a dream I had a couple of years ago. Thomas was just a typical teen and him, Alyssa and I were just sitting in our front sun porch talking to one another. I have no idea what we were talking about I just remember Thomas being “normal”. I know when we’re all in heaven together we’ll all talk again. God gave me a preview.

Thrifting day!

Today I was in Manhattan and I *had* to stop by my favorite Salvation Army on the upper West side.  To be honest I was there to see my therapist and lucky for me she’s near the thrift store :).  As my dad said, I had a whole morning of “therapy”.  He was right!

I first found amazing brand new Vince slip on sneakers.  Did I mention they were brand new??                                               I was ecstatic to find they fit me perfectly .vincesneakers

On to the the clothing section!  There I found a perfect pink t shirt by Splendid, an awesome Free People tank, Joe’s Jeans shorts and Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans!

joes jeans

I then took a look behind the glass case where they keep the sunglasses and jewelry.  None of the jewelry caught my eye but these sunglasses sure did.  Oversized tortoise frame, oh my!  I asked to see them and I was thrilled to find out they are Vera Wang, still being sold online.


And bonus selfie wearing said sunglasses


I know they are a little big (haha) but I don’t care I love them!

Christmas shopping

I’m well underway! It’s been nice because I have actual things on a list to go by. My gosh that list has made my life so much easier especially with my own kids, not to mention nieces and nephews. What was extra nice was that my husband was home the past 2 nights and together we made quite a dent in “The List”. It was nice spending time with him even if it was just shopping. I really appreciate my husband. I not only was glad for the shopping help but I appreciate him as a person. His sense of humor, that he watches me walking towards him with this smile that says he’s so happy to see me. Like I’m someone who’s worth watching. It’s a nice feeling. We split up a few times in the mall, I’m not really a Sears gal and he could care less about the teen/tween stores. After a while we’d find each other again and regroup, refer back to “The List”. We held hands and kissed in public.

I’m glad I have him. I’m thankful the Lord placed him in my life. We’ve been together since we were about 17 years old and married for 19 years this past November. 19 Married Christmases. That’s pretty cool. With the exception of our very first Christmas right after we were married, the other 18 Christmases have been all about the kids. Thomas first of course then just Thomas and Alyssa. Before we knew it Lelly was with us and last but not least along came Samantha. It was nice when the kids were younger and it was fun. But to be honest I enjoy the holidays more now that everyone is older and things aren’t as hectic as they were back then when kids are say under the age of 5.

Up early

I’m up before everyone.  I do this fairly often and it’s really nice.  I’m up before the craziness of everyone getting ready for school.  That includes me getting decent hair and face going on.  I take Samantha to school but I’m not one to go in my pajamas.  Except for the barking of my dogs (for whatever reason early mornings are cat chasing time.  Go figure.) it’s really quiet.  Like hear a pin drop quiet.  So cool.  This used to be the quiet I would get at night when everyone was small.  They were all pretty much were in bed by 9pm the latest.  These days …nope.  Everyone seems to be up forever and want to talk.  Meanwhile by 9:30 ish I’m all talked out and I’m ready for the quiet. 

I pick up Thomas tomorrow for a weekend visit.  He’s so looking forward to coming home.  Every phone call these past 2 weeks has included confirmation of the date I’m coming to get him, Feb. 1st and that yes, I promise I’m coming.  Oh and that I spoke to the social worker about said date.  He’s funny but I don’t blame him I’m sure I’d be the same way in his shoes.  I’m impressed with how Thomas speaks to me sometimes.  He actually said, “Mom, you *promise* you’re coming?”  Who knew that he knows the concept of a “promise”?  Not me until he said it. 

I’m off to the city today (another reason I’m up earlier). Earlier this week I was reflecting on how things have changed since I started seeing Nancy.  When I first went to her I was terribly clinically depressed.  I hadn’t started meds yet, actually I was terrified of meds and said I would NOT take them.  That adamant position changed rapidly when I realized that no amount of therapy was going to help that this was more serious than I thought, plus I became more afraid of the depression than the medications.  When I first started seeing Nancy,  I cried through every session and after we were done I’d walk down Broadway on the upper west side for blocks and blocks, many times fighting back tears.  One time and I know this was The Lord’s work, my wonderful friend Jackie called me as I was walking.  I couldn’t believe her timing. I walked and talked and cried down Broadway on the cell phone with her for about who knows how many blocks.  Probably 10.  Until I saw a subway station for my train and decided I was tired of walking. Amazing how I thought I was all along when I wasn’t. I had the Lord with me and then He prompted Jackie to call. I love those perfect timings.

Ok, it’s getting later and I must start the chaos we call mornings. I’m extremely thankful the only one I have to “help” a little is Samantha. She really needs prompting and that’s ok. I’m off!

Getting down to business

I’m in the middle if writing my business plan for my store I dream of opening one day. Yes I dream of opening a high end resale store in my neighborhood (I love my ‘hood). I had the opportunity to take an entrepreneur- ship class last year at the local city college and it was all about learning how to write a business plan. Since last spring I have been procrastinating writing my own plan. Now that I want to someday make this dream a reality I need the business plan.

I feel like I’ve given myself a huge homework assignment. I’m not complaining since this is self imposed but I’m overwhelmed a bit. I think this is the direction The Lord wants me to go. You know when things fall in that direction. I’m not saying I have this clear cut path and message, no not at all. No matter what other things I think of doing as a “grown up” this is one thing I can’t get out of my mind and I keep coming back to it. I have this thrill of the thrift that I keep talking about.

If I’m wrong and it’s not meant to be The Lord will show me and point me in a different direction.

So getting back to this business plan…I know I’m procrastinating by writing here. I haven’t drawn a blank like the one I have for certain parts of this plan in a long time. Usually I start writing and things take off. It’s forcing me to dig deep and use this brain God has given me. I know I can do this. It’s not even like I have little children around anymore to distract me. Even as I’m writing this I’m uninterrupted so I think I’ll take this as my cue to stop procrastinating and get to work. I won’t ask for a wish of luck but a small prayer couldn’t hurt :). Thanks.