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The “Skinny” On Diaz #10 – ETA 9.18.18

5 Feb, 2018
JoAnne
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#GoBigOrGoHome #2outof10babiesplanned

Welp! It’s that time of year again…the most wonderful time of the year where I get pregnant! Hold up, #Don’tJudgeMeYet! I have actually gone about 20 plus months without getting pregnant! (waits for standing ovation) This is the longest I have ever gone and the longest any of my babies have ever gone without a buddy or a new sibling! Go Philip! Go me!

It is not like I have to explain myself but I will because I know a lot of people will think I, we, are crazy. Well, they thought that before so…no biggie! Let me start by saying that both my husband and my children have been asking me for a baby since our youngest, Philip, was about six months old. With that said I think I held off for a long time, no? But recently, right before Christmas my husband had this idea that, “We should really give God something very big for Christmas this year.” In his mind he was thinking something monetary but me, I was not thinking that at all. I thought about it for a day or so and it just came to me, clear as day, in my mind and heart. That is when I waited for him to come home and we sat down to chat alone and I told him of my idea, “What bigger gift could we give Him than that of a baby? Than that of being completely open to life again?” If an image is worth a thousand words you would have loved to have seen his face! Why? Because I have always been the one to say, “I’m done. I was retired at #4. I am good. I do not need more children.” Yes I have said it but alas we have always had more and I will tell you why and how: because that is what God wanted for us. God has put it in our hearts perpetually over 13 years.

Peter, our first was planned. After Peter children number 2 through 8 were not planned by any means. During this time, especially after number 4, we tried to doing Natural Family Planning and eventually Creighton. It did not work for me initially. I think I was overthinking it. Children 2 through 7 were surprises and number 8 I call him my Melatonin baby because I was taking it at the time to help me sleep and I did not realize until I was pregnant that it can mess with your cycles. Now, for number 9, it was not that he was planned because between 8 and 9 we finally “mastered” The Creighton Method but we knew that there was a very VERY SMALL chance we could get pregnant and we both agreed to take that chance. Sure enough, we then got pregnant. As they say, it only takes one time (sometimes!)! (Sidebar: how apropos it is that our wedding song is: It Only Takes A Moment! Lol) So with all of that said, God wanted us to have the amount of children we did. He is always the one in control. Even though the last post-partum period was the very worse for me I look at #9, Philip, and I am in awe of him. He has changed our lives so much and so much for the better and I, we, could not imagine life without him!

So after my husband Nick got over the initial shock of my gift offering I told him to think about, pray about it and let me know. It didn’t take long and he agreed it was the best thing to do, the best gift to give Jesus for His Birthday. For me personally this was a HUGE step. I had only felt “normal” (from my PPD/PPA) since August so this was not going to be easy. I had just found the lifestyle change (fasting) that I believe could help me finally lose all the baby weight once and for all. From a human standpoint it was a scary concept in that at the time we did not have a renter for our unit and I was losing my job. BUT, as I told Nick, what better gift to give Him than that of TOTAL TRUST. After all, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable.” For both of us and for our family it was also taking on a lot of stress: me being pregnant at an older age with 9 children, Nick having to do more, the kids having to do more, and then the added stress once baby comes home with or without my post-partum issues. So, this was no easy peasy decision.

I do understand that given all I have said that people will still think I am crazy or even crazier and that is ok. I don’t call myself a rebel for nutin! Thank God I do not mind about what people think! That is a grace from God. What is most important to me and to my family is that we do the will of God. I care what God thinks. I care what God wants.  What I have always said and I will always say is that God cannot be outdone in generosity. He can’t! If you give, He gives more. He always will. But we only have one life to give, one life to live. “What we do here and now echoes in eternity.” Maximus said it perfectly! God does not care about money; God does not need money. God wants our will united to His. And when we do that, openly and freely, He gives us the graces we need to get through it for, “God will not give us more than we can handle”, right? Right.

People have this big misconception that children cost a lot of money. They actually don’t if you do it the right way (as in a cost effective way) and if you are not extremely selfish. In our house do you want to know what costs the most amount of money? Dunkin donuts. Date nights. Sushi. Facials. Massages. That’s the truth! If you breastfeed you save money. If you can’t or don’t breastfeed Sam’s club/Costco sells formula at a fraction of the cost of brand name formula and yet they have the same exact ingredients. Diapers? Go to Sam’s club and get 220 diapers for $35. If you can’t afford it go to your local pregnancy center and they will help you out. Clothing? Shoes? There are two glorious things for this: hand-me-downs and thrift shops/consignment sales. Food? Go to Sam’s club and buy in bulk. Eat foods that can go a long way like rice and beans and etc. When they get older HAVE YOUR CHILDREN GET A JOB to help out with their needs or the family’s needs. Have THEM save for a car. Have THEM pay their insurance. College? No problem! There is a glorious thing called student loans or your children can just pay collage as they go. Marriage? No problem nowadays many groom’s families chip in on the bill. So, you see where I am going with this? Children do not cost a lot of money; WE DO. We as humans are or tend to be selfish. We want what we want when we want it. We don’t want to sacrifice. So we don’t have kids. We don’t have more kids. I get it (thus our 20 month break). Now, obviously there are people who cannot have children or cannot have more children and that is completely different. Even though we shouldn’t judge people – people do judge me because I am too open to life but maybe I also unfortunately judge people for NOT being open to life? So let’s just not judge each other! I can only speak for myself and I, we, are on a journey and our journey is eternity. I have to get my family to heaven and so I-in union with my husband-am doing what I firmly believe will get us there.

As many people know I have been blessed to have had pretty much perfect pregnancies, labors and deliveries. For those of you who do not know or recall I did have post-partum depression/anxiety (PPD/PPA) after the birth of our fourth child. However, I did not have it with children numbers 5-8. And now that I am more informed after my last bout of it I know how to try to prevent it and if I can’t then I know how to tackle it immediately following the birth of the baby. I am not the type of person to let something define me. PPD/PPA will not define me and it will not prevent me from having more children. The only thing that will prevent me from having more children is God. So God-willing this child will be born and will be an amazing Saint for God one day. That is my hope; that is my prayer. And maybe in the process this child will help me get a little closer to becoming a Saint.

While I may not let something like an illness define me I am always up for a challenge and my Uncle Tino did kinda challenge me. In his annual Christmas letter he did make mention of me being a slacker for not being pregnant yet! I chuckled to myself when I read it but then thought maybe that is a nudge from God for me? I already had nudges from my husband and children but maybe this was another one. Guess what the ironic part is? When I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and anxiety I got a test done to see if I was fertile or not. Up until that point I had never had one because clearly I was very fertile. However the test revealed that I was very infertile. This was so very sad for me. I know people may not understand it but it really was. I knew or thought in my heart it was a side effect of my PPD/PPA. I tested it a year later when I felt better and though the numbers went up I was still considered infertile. My Doctor told me very nicely, “I know what it is says on paper but look at history too JoAnne.” So when we went to try conceive Diaz #10 we really did not know if it would happen. I had no symptoms whatsoever and I was shocked when I found out I was pregnant. But, if you ask me, the bottom line is if God wants you to get pregnant, you will get pregnant! I tell my friends who cannot achieve pregnancy that it is for a reason and should it happen it will happen in God’s timing. The words are not easy but they are true and just because I chose to be open to life does not make my being pregnant any easier. It is still a major sacrifice but it is one that I chose to offer up.

I am so thankful for those people in our lives that support us, that love us even if they may not agree with us. I may not always agree with people but I still love them and out of charity I try to help them in any way that I can. We are all very excited about this pregnancy. I feel very very blessed and very truly humbled.

So there you have it; the “skinny” on the conception of Diaz #10! We found out right away but I wanted to keep it a secret (for the first time ever!) since I am older now and wanted to wait until my first Doctor’s appointment which was today. Thank God the baby is on target for weight/measurements, the heartbeat is nice and strong and everything with me is fine. I very am proud to say that our children actually kept this a secret for almost a month!

As I said in the beginning, I did not have to explain this but I wanted to. And trust me, I am okay with you thinking I am crazy. And I thank you in advance for loving us and supporting us in this, the next Chapter in our love story with God.

Sincerely Yours,

JoAnne & Co.

P.S. For those of you who may have been watching me on Facebook I have been using the hastag #GoBigOrGoHome since Christmas Eve. So that is this pregnancy’s hashtag! You may have also noticed that I have not posted any wine pics or etc. Did you know? :)

 

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A Poem From My Future Self

19 Oct, 2017
JoAnne
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Empty.

Empty nest.

I knew this would happen.

They warned me, “Enjoy this time now because it goes by so fast!”

I kindly smile at them then turn around and roll my eyes.

If only; if only they knew everything I had to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

“They don’t understand!” I thought.

 

It’s the middle of the night.

I roll over and see it is 3:00 a.m. Sigh.

I am not awake because a newborn needs me.

I am not awake because I want to check on the kids and make sure they are ok; that their blankets are covering them.

I am not awake because a child is vomiting all over the place.

I am not awake because I need to work for my job because I could not get to it during the day due to the kids’ schedules.

I am merely awake because my body has been trained to be awake at this time for twenty some years.

 

“What is today going to look like?” I ponder to myself.

“Oh that’s right. Nothing! It’s going to look like nothing because I have nothing to do a-gain.”

After hours of tossing and turning I get finally decide to get up.

I jump in the shower and just stand there for what feels like hours.

The hot steam surrounding me seems so unfamiliar.

“What is a hot shower? Have I ever even had one?”

 

I get dressed and head downstairs for some coffee.

I finish my coffee as I listen to the news.

“OMG! I actually finished a cup of coffee while it was hot!”

“It’s not even 8:00 a.m. and I’ve already learned about everything going on in the world.”

I jump in my car to go to mass.

“My car is clean. How is this possible?”

As I drive the rain drops fall down. I can hear them so clearly.

This new perpetual sound of silence is deafening.

I begin to tear up. It’s all hitting me again.

Empty.

Empty nest.

 

I go to mass and naturally head for the cry room.

But then I remember I have no children.

I go to the pew and the mass begins.

Finally I am actually able to hear not only a word of mass but the entire mass yet I chose not to.

Instead I am enamored with this cute little family in front me.

The mom is nursing the baby while her toddler tries to run off.

I will never nurse again. I will never know that feeling again.

My instinct is to help her with the toddler but it’s not my place.

I am not her. I am not the new mom. I’m the old mom. I’m the grandmom. I’m the church stranger.

I cry. I cry because I long to get those days back again.

 

I head to the grocery store.

I no longer have a need for a babysitter while I run my errands.

No more do I need two carts; one to carry kids and one to lug groceries in.

The cashier tells me my bill for my weekly grocery bill. “49.83, ma’am.”

“Oh…so now I’m a ma’am, eh?” As I hand him my card.

What once was a $600 bill is now less than $50 bucks.

I giggle to myself thinking I should be happy about this.

 

I head home and taking the groceries in one load I proceed to put them away.

Empty cabinets. Empty fridge. Everything is empty.

No more ravenous teenage boys around to eat all my groceries in two days.

I go to unload the dishwasher but there are no dishes there because I no longer need to use it.

It’s just the two of us now. We can hand-wash the dishes.

 

The house is already clean; no straightening even to be done.

There are no crayon marks on the walls for me to wash today.

There are no holes for me to patch.

The only hole that is present is the one in my heart.

 

I run upstairs and take the laundry out of the dryer.

It takes me five minutes to fold and put the clothes away.

There are no socks needing to be sorted or put in a special odd-ball section.

There are no beds in need of being stripped and re-made.

There are only empty rooms.

 

I decide to lay down and take a nap because that is what I have done every day since I became a Mom.

I stare at the ceiling contemplating whether or not to call one of my children.

“Will they think I am too needy?”

“Will I be bothering them?”

Instead I chose to just lay there.

I scroll through my phone… no missed calls.

I try to sleep but I can’t. I can’t because for the most part I did get a solid night’s worth of sleep.

 

After a short time, I opt to go into my basement.

I pull out the kids’ cubbies with dust on them.

“To Mommy on Mother’s Day. I love you mommy because you are my best friend and you make good food! Love, Bella”

I burst out crying. I crumble to the ground my tears completely soaking up the memento.

I cannot stop crying.

My house is empty.

My womb is empty.

My heart is empty.

I hit myself because I didn’t enjoy it. I was always working, always doing, always being…everything to everyone, all the time.

I curse to myself. I am filled with deep regret.

I cannot take back time.

 

I decide this may not be the best thing for me to be doing so I put the cubbies away and decide to look for a recipe to make us for dinner.

I no longer need to worry about picky eaters so what do I make?

As I begin to cook my husband walks in.

He comes over and kisses me from behind and wraps his arms around my waist.

I take in the moment thoroughly. A moment that rarely ever happened when our kids were with us.

This. Yes this. This is one thing I did look forward to and one thing I enjoy immensely now.

 I am blessed. We are blessed.

 

We talk about our day; his being much more exciting than mine because he still works a lot.

As I watch him while he is talking I have a tad bit of envy of him.

He has the twinkle in his eye.

His heart is full. It’s full of endless amounts of memories he made every single day with his kids.

“He must have no regrets…” I think to myself.

“I should have been more like him. He warned me; he did warn me.”

 

We clean up instantaneously and I decide to go do some work on my computer.

As I look at the calendar I realize how soon Halloween is coming up.

Then I remember and begin to think of the holidays or more like holi-daze right now.

No more blowing a million bucks on costumes that may not even last until Halloween.

No more Santa Claus.

No more Christmas magic, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy.

New year’s? What is the freaking point of New Year’s now?

I have lost all the weight I needed to.

I have stopped screaming.

I have stopped drinking too much.

Nope, now it’s just empty empty holi-daze.

 

After I do my work I get ready for bed and begin to pray.

I thank God for the day.

I thank God for my life.

I thank God for my husband, our children and our grand-children.

I then have a blunt conversation with Him reminding Him about how He gave them us but the world took them from me! They took them and kept them all for themselves!!!

I scream to Him, “The world is full of them! MY CHILDREN. MY Priests. MY Religious. MY grand-children.” And yet I remind Him that I am now here, empty in an empty nest.

He finds it amusing that I still talk to Him this way after so long. I grin then pout.

“It will get better,” He says. “Trust in me.”

“Ok,” I say. “Talk to you tomorrow. Same place; same time. It’s not like I have any plans, unfortunately,” as I wink and blow Him a kiss goodnight.

 

 

 

Clip art credit

 

 

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What I Learned From Our New Garbage Rules!

13 Sep, 2017
JoAnne
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So this is the second time I have intended to blog on pee and poo but alas, other more important topics have come to mind! Sorry, I imagine you are disappointed. Well, in theory part of this blog could be about it anyways since I will talking about garbage! Garbage? Yes! Garbage.

Let me preface this by saying that I have been spoiled. I have lived in the same two towns which are within four miles of each other for almost 13 years. The first house I was in for almost 12 years literally took whatever I put out. I kid you not! I could have put anything or anyone on the street and those wonderful men would have taken it! lol. Joking aside, there would be times where I would get a note about something but they still took the item. We did not have “bulk” days or events so we could literally put a couch out every week if we wanted to. Yeah…so great, right? So spoiled! Let me also share that I did recycle but not as much as I would have liked. They did not take everything and they only did it every other week which was not really practical for a family of 11.

So needless to say when I moved to my new home just over a year ago I imagined it would be the same way and it was, well kinda. There were definitely items that they eventually would not take – i.e. anything with a cord (electronics) but otherwise, I continued to be a spoiled princess with however much garbage I wanted and there was a lot, all the time. I was also extremely spoiled with the fact that recycling was taken every week. It was and is bliss! If I was bad at recycling I thank my children for picking up where I am slacking since they were very conscientiousness of recycling thanks to what they learned at school!

I think part of the reason I always had so much garbage – especially at the new house – was because I read that book, “The Magic Art of Tidying” and I discovered that so many things in my house did not give me joy! So I would try to sell it then I would try to put it out for free and when no one took it I would either donate it or just chuck it. The is besides the fact that we have 11 people in our home and two who are still in diapers and two still wear pull-ups, so…well you can imagine the amount of garbage we have!

So needless to say when we were alerted to a new garbage “system” and rules I was not a happy camper. While I loved that they gave us these beautiful new bins – 1 for recycling and 1 for garbage I was not happy with the fact that: 1. I had garbage bins I paid for – one very expensive (and garbage bins are not actually resale friendly if ya know what I mean!)  and  2. with the new rules we were told that we would only be able to fit ALL OF OUR GARBAGE in one bin OR we would have to pay $3 bucks PER EXTRA GARBAGE BAG. I will be honest I was kinda freaking out since we had a track record of about two extra bags per week! There was NO way I could fit it all in one bin! I already had the same size bin so I just knew.

So what did I do? I do what everyone else does, I complain on social media! I became a garbage troll per se. I was watching all the threads and anytime anyone was posting about how mad they were with the new system I would give a big freaking LIKE and then comment to my heart’s delight. We, the people of Forks, were one. We united in our garbage woes! No one was getting in the way of our garbage complaining! I wrote to people of the public works, I called and I went in person. I even went so far as to buy 8 tags for $24 bucks in preparation of the new rules. The way I looked at it was we had 8 weeks until we would be offered the option to buy a second bin (and I knew I needed a second bin) so I figured if I was lucky I would be able to only have one extra bag per week until then.

So… ya know what happened? The week before the new rules went into effect I had my garage sale, I put a million things out for free and they took it! And then, I loaded my garbage up until thy kingdom come for the last day and I watched it all leave the property (likely with a glass of chard since I put it out the night before). “They took it all! Thank you Jesus!” I screamed with excitement the next day and then I started on a mission: mission downsize garbage.

I knew I had the tags; it was not about the tags though – it was about can I freaking do it? Can I actually fit all of our garbage in one bin? Now, with the new recycling rules and bins I may have a chance… so I was VERY diligent about putting any of the NEWLY accepted recycled items in that bin and then, I kid you not, I was literally acting like a human garbage compactor. I assigned one broom (should have given that b#$%# a name for all she did for me!) and I used the other end to stuff garbage down into my garbage bag.

When garbage day came – and it just so happens to be 8 days instead of 7 due to the holiday!- I was FREAKING ELATED that we could fit everything – no problem – in one bin for garbage and one bin for recycling. I’ll be honest; I felt like superwoman. I made my man feel like superman. We did it! We ACTUALLY did it! I never knew something as garbage could make me so happy but alas it did, it really REALLY really did.

So then I was sold. I was reading the threads; I was driving around and seeing other people (with less kids) put out more garbage. I was shocked. I kept thinking, “What is in there, bodies?” By the way, not judging, just wondering. We don’t put grass or anything in our garbage so I was perplexed. I decided that I should post my one bin to show that I did it which was my way of kinda saying, “oh, my bad, maybe I was wrong!” My hashtag was #OneBinToRuleThemAll which I found cute since I am a die hard Lord of The Rings fan.

From then on out I was googling: garbage disposals, garbage compactors, composts. You name it, I googled it! I also went to the dollar store and bought a ton of plates. You see, in the past I had used paper plates. It just made sense for us. I figured they are biodegradable so who cares? But I used them for three meals a day! So yeah, so hypothetically 33 plates a day! What the what?! So after all this I basically got used to running my dishwasher once a day instead of every other day and got used to using plastic plates for the kiddos.

So…long story short, what does this all mean? It means that I was wrong. They were right. It means that if I really cared about my community I would have attended the meetings where they talk about all of this stuff! Today was the second garbage collection and I am proud to say without anything: composts, compactors (besides my arms), disposers we had even less garbage than last week. We could have fit another BIG bag in there easily.

For me this was not just a lesson in garbage this was a lesson overall which I taught my son today. My son, who is now doing online public school for the first time, contacted me and needed help. I told him I was working (for my job in the other room and I could not help him right then and there). I went to see him and assessed the situation and I told him, “Maybe you are underestimating what you can do?” And I gave him the example of the garbage and my scenario. He, in turn, went on to finish the assignment without my help. I was thrilled.

For me this whole garbage “saga” has turned into a great blessing. Yes, I still have my 8 garbage tags which I am sure I will use for kids parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas BUT there is no amount of money (aka $24 bucks for 8 tags) I could pay for the lesson I learned and that is that we are capable of so much more than we think we are. I assumed I would need tags. I assumed I would need another bin. All I can say is don’t assume and trust the experts (Forks Public Works!) and trust in yourself. You have more to give! Squeeze yourself like a lemon and you may surprised that there is more than lemonade there.

God bless,

JoAnne

The Way To Overcome Your Fears: Face Your Fears Head On!

3 Aug, 2017
JoAnne
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It’s funny when I think about my fears over the years. I do not remember having many fears. I always remember being an adventurous kid not afraid of much. As I got older I think I became more afraid of emotional or societal -per se- matters instead of physical matters: fear of not being loved by a man the way a woman deserves to be loved, fear of not graduating high school, fear of not having a job, fear of not getting married by a certain age or fear that my life would not turn out the way that I planned it.

All of those were valid fears. As I became older my fears shifted a little bit: fear of having a baby, fear of getting pregnant a-gain (and a-gain), and fear of going through labor and delivery again. People assume that because I have nine kids that I wanted that many or more or that I just love pregnancy, labor and delivery. Not so, not so! Pregnancy has always been very good or easy per se for me even when I was pregnant with my twins but it does not mean I loved every minute of it especially the end. And childbirth? Forget about it! I dread childbirth like people dread the plague! Every time? EVERY TIME.

One thing that always remained consistent about my fear around babies and the like was that I did not let my fear define me. I did not let fear dictate my life, my decisions or what God had planned for us. So with each positive pregnancy test I rolled with it (all those fears). Just like right now I am rolling with new found fears as a part of my last childbirth: fears related to anxiety.

I have never had issues with anxiety until my fourth child was born but that was mild and was over quickly. With the birth of our ninth child, however, I began to have a lot of anxiety and still have anxiety to this day but it is minimal. I still chose to deal with that anxiety by facing my fears head on. Now, granted, there are some days where I don’t. Take for instance the day my husband wanted to put me on a rollercoaster. I had zero interest. I was plagued with fear and anxiety. I did not want to face it even when I got into the seat. But I did it. I got on the darn rollercoaster and cried the whole time. I cried when I got off and I swore never to ride a rollercoaster again. Reminder: this is coming from a person who has always always been adventurous! But the key is that I did it. I may not have wanted to but I faced my fear. And though it may have been painful to go through it coming out on the other side of it felt fantastic because I did not let that fear control me or consume me.

I am currently on vacation in the Poconos with my husband. The last few days have been filled with adventure and doing things we have never done before together. Sure, I came prepared, I brought the Xanax but I am very happy to say I have not needed it. I convinced my husband to go parasailing – something I have always wanted to do but never got the chance. I did not tell him I was scared. I knew he was but he was willing to do it for me. He still doesn’t know I was scared. I was only scared because of this new anxiety in my life. Had this been before the birth of our last child I would not have had a scared bone in my body. Right before we were about to go up there was thunder and lightening. Immediately the crew put everything away and I was so bummed because I thought we had missed our chance. I’ll be honest, part of me was a bit relieved but most of me was bummed because I knew that if I got up there I would feel better about tackling my anxiety. I also knew I would enjoy being up there. The crew, God bless them!, hung around on the water for a good half hour or more just waiting for it to clear and finally we had our moment. Up we went and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I felt so proud up there and once we landed on the boat. It was more than just a ride in the sky: it was facing my fear and overcoming something given to me -anxiety- but not in charge of me.

Today is our last day here and God-willing I plan to do something with my husband that we did a few years ago: zip lining and tree top adventures. The tree top adventures are very very hard. It does not only require you to use your body but all of your senses. It is demanding in every sense imaginable. When you finish the course you feel it in your mind, body and soul. Some may not even attempt to try this because of their weight or lack of exercise (like me) or their fear of heights or even their lack of trust in their partner to help them. But again, for me, I say do not let your fears define you. If I can birth nine kids being as big as I am then damnit I can do a tree top course! If I can chase nine kids around all day long and not keel over and die, then I got this!

If we let our fears dictate and control our lives think of all the things we are missing out on?! People always say, “And you would have more kids after all of your fears?” And I always say, “YES!” Because God knows what is best for me, for us and so far He has and continues to prove that. They continue, “But you could die?!” and I respond, “Yes, but you could die from crossing the street?!” Just because you have a fear of something doesn’t mean you should avoid it. After all, as the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, no?

God bless,

JoAnne

#adventureisoutthere

 

 

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Happy Father’s Day!

18 Jun, 2017
JoAnne
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I cannot believe I have never blogged on or for Father’s day! I went to search this morning thinking I had but nope, I have not! That is a cryin shame since I have blogged several times on Mother’s day! Please forgive me, my Daddy, my hubby and all the Fathers out there!

So first, a big Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there. I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful day full of all that ye fancy!

Today I am dedicating this post to my wonderful husband and the Father of our nine beloved children. If God could have told me that I would have met and married a man such as my husband I would have said that were impossible! But, as we know, “with God ALL things are possible”.

When you date a prince, when you marry a prince every day is a date day, every day is a wifey day, and every day is Mother’s day. A prince always thinks of his princess and that is how my husband has always been. Are there days or moments in every day where I am sure he’d like to reconsider his nuptial contract? YES. Are there days or moments in every day where I would like to not find a remote control in the fridge or turn his semi-hearing from selective hearing to active listening? YES. But all-in-all I cannot imagine life without my Nicholas.

Nowadays with all of the crime and mental health issues in the world we can see quite clearly how important the role of a Father is. It is so very important for the Father to be present – in every way – in their child’s life. I am blessed that I married an educator because not only does my husband attend to the education of his students he also has a big role in the education and formation of his children.

My Father-in-law was clearly a great role model for my husband. When I met my husband he would not let me walk on the outside of the street – he always pulled me aside so he would be on the outside. I had never heard or seen that before but he did not know any different because that is how his Father was and still is. Holding doors open, pulling out chairs, walking around to open car doors – all of that was second nature to my husband because of his Father.

One of the greatest gifts as a Mother is seeing that “tradition” passed down to my children. Whenever I open the garage door to come home from grocery shopping there are my boys, even the little ones, running out to help unload the car. The toddler even gets offended if he is not included in the helping! When my husband has a late night and I am at my wits end there is my eldest telling me, “Mom, go take a hot shower; I’ve got this!” And I do. Because that is what my husband does to me and my son is clearly trying to take care of me like my husband does and that is a great practice for any child whether he gets married or not!

People often ask me how I do it all. The truth is I don’t. My husband is in the game 150% or more even if I give 100% or less. He is the glue that holds us together in every sense. He provides for us financially and spiritually. He attends to all of our needs. When I need a break I get it no matter how many times a day I may need my own time out! When the kids need to get out he takes them. When the kids want to play games or football or ANYTHING he is there doing it. When I need to lighten up he is the one there making me smile again. After he has long days at work he comes home and immediately takes over. He is not just a role model to our children but to me too.

I am so very thankful for my husband first as my husband and best friend but also as the Father of our children. I may have had the best Dad in the world but I think my children have the best day in the world too! Nicholas, thank you for all that you do for all of us every single day. Thank you for being the best role model as man, Catholic, husband, friend, son and Father. I love you; we love you and we would be lost without you.

Happy Father’s Day!

God bless,

JoAnne