Thanksgiving Dinner: Impressing Grandma & Grandpa with Martha & Marley Spoon

Last Thanksgiving my parents decided they couldn’t host.  On top of that, my husband was on-duty, which meant that if there was going to be a turkey, I would have to be cooking.  If that wasn’t scary enough, I would actually have to go out and shop for food.  This was more than a few frozen bags of veggies and some poultry.  We’re talking turkey, dressing, vegetables, dessert.  I was panicked.  Then a miracle happened.  Martha & Marley Spoon emailed me. 

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Chicago Marathon – Professional Spectator Plan

Forget about a day off school.  Forget about Columbus Day sales.  When October rolls around in Chicagoland it means that the Chicago Marathon is near.  Don’t be fooled – I don’t even like driving 26.2 miles so you won’t find me running the streets of Chicago racking up those miles.  What you will find me doing, when family and friends make the marathon a personal goal to check off their bucket list, is turning into a professional spectator.  My goal: to cheer my runners on at the 2-mile, 8-mile, 13.5-mile, 17-mile, 22-mile, and 26-mile marks.  This is how you do it.

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Ireland: Family history atop Nephin mountain

Sometimes an adventure can take you far beyond your wildest imagination.  In 2017 we took a driving adventure around Ireland with hopes to visit the area that my great-great-grandparents raised their family before their children started to travel to America.  We planned to drive to County Mayo, explore a cemetery or two, and drive through the town our ancestors called home.  Our giddy excitement on our plans sent our current Ireland family on a search on other possible places to visit – and found the diamond in the rough.  

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Irish Ancestry: Addergoole Cemetery, County Mayo

Exploring an unknown country by car for 12 days can be an adventure, especially when you’re 40-ish years old driving your 60-ish-year-old mother and 16-year-old niece around.  We made a great trio and did we had goals. Some were to explore Ireland and learn more about there area where my great-grandparents lived before immigrating to Chicago.  Since my mom & her sister have spent many years researching our ancestry so we knew quite a bit.  They lived in County Mayo, from a small town called Crossmolina.  We even had a cemetery name of their final resting place – Addergoole Cemetery.  Mom was determined to visit but after a Google Earth search and satellite view, I was a little leary on our adventure.  To put it simply – it looked spooky.

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10 Things From My Hospital Stay After My Cardiac Ablation

It has been a year since my short stint as a patient.  Thankfully after undergoing a cardiac ablation in 2017, I am happy to report that I have been A-fib free for an entire year.  This experience has been quite educational not only as a human that will probably use a hospital again sometime in my life but especially since I spend my working hours as a Nurse Practitioner.

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Electronic Storage: Technology Gadget Organization

With our technology collection growing it is becoming harder and harder to convince the boys there was a life before “electronics”.  Determined to reign in some control of screen time I decided to centralize all the electronics in the house.  Of course, it had to have some flair – so after months of searching, I found the perfect desk to house it all.  With a little bit of elbow grease & imagination, I have the perfect electronic storage unit for all our gadgets.   Now all I have to do is pat the boys down each night so they can get a good night sleep & the electronics can recharge as well.

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Daily Photo Challenge 2015 & PastBook Success

I knew 2015 was going to be a big year for me.  I was finishing my nurse practitioner degree program, oldest son was starting his last year in grade school, and I was turning 40.  I wanted to capture the year differently and not just by a few pages in a scrapbook.  I had a photographer friend who was challenging others to do a daily photo challenge. Challenge accepted. I was ready & starting on January 1st I took one picture each day on Instagram.

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Three Boys & Three Schools: Consider Yourself Warned

For the last two years, I have had three boys at three different schools.  Sounds like that should have been a piece of cake.  Yet I have spent the last two years juggling three different PTA, PTSA & Booster clubs (of COURSE they all had different names).  Three different school calendars of events.  Three different groups of after-school activities.  This might not seem like a lot – but at the end of a grueling two year saga of juggling it all, there are signs I might make it out intact.  Granted, with one week left to go I have a to-do list of 72 items and haven’t been home before 9pm the last two weeks of school, but I feel like the end is in sight.   Read more

School Year Tradition – Dr Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go”

How can this school year be over already?  I am pretty certain I still have back to school flyers sitting on my desk.  Yet, here we are, another year wrapping up another year at warp speed.  Last band concert. End of the year picnic.  Open house.  Backpack full of evidence that the school year did indeed take place.  The school has so many end of the year traditions, I couldn’t help but add a school year tradition of my own.  Read more

Daily Challenge: 2017 Crochet Temperature Blanket

Christmas. 1986.  This was the year my Aunt Sheila gave me a homemade orange crochet bag filled with yarn, crochet hooks and lessons on how make that yarn into something.  Over the years I perfected my rows and could always knock out a mean granny square.  While I have made little blankets for family and friends newborn babies, I never took the time to make a “large” blanket for just myself.  So in late 2016, 30 years after I was introduced to the art by Aunt Sheila, I put myself up to challenge of a daily crochet temperature blanket.

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