At least I know I’m loved

My kids go to Catholic School.  Every year they have a volunteer mass where they honor all the parents, neighbors, parishioner, and others who have volunteered during the school year.  Since I’m always at work during their weekly masses, I usually try to make it the volunteer mass each year.  A few weeks ago, I put in my sheet for the time off to attend today’s event.

As it just so happens, today is also my mom’s birthday.  Today she’s (29×2) + 3.  (My mom insists on staying 29, so the rest of us comply with her wishes….sort of.)

As we were all running around this morning getting ready, Paige called my mom to wish her a happy birthday, then we jetted off to school.  Just as mass was starting, my phone began vibrating.  I looked at it and noticed it was work.  Someone must have seen my office was empty, but didn’t talk to the main office to see that I was coming in late.  Oh well, I’ll return the call after mass.

Then a few minutes later, it goes off again.

Then another call.  This time from a different co-worker.

I know I turned in my paperwork, I hope there’s not an emergency at work.

Then IP‘s phone starts ringing.

A few more minutes later, I get a call from my mom.

Then another on my phone from work.

Then one from my mom’s cell phone.

Oh crap, there’s an emergency all right, but it’s not at work, its me.

Our father, hallelujah, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight!   Please say Mass has ended, so I can go in peace to love and serve the Lord and calm the nerves of my loved ones.

When I step outside to start returning calls, luckily, I’m greeted with endless laughter as I find out the extent to which the Finding Kerry saga reached.

When I didn’t arrive at work, they were worried.  I’m always on time, heck usually early, but no panic yet.  When I wasn’t there after 30 minutes, the calls started.  After not reaching me on my cell or at home, then not reaching IP, they called my mom.

“We don’t want to alarm you, but Kerry didn’t arrive at work today.  She didn’t call.  It’s not like her.”

“Well, I talked to Paige this morning and heard Kerry in the background.  Let me make a few calls.”

Mom decided her best first move was to call the kid’s school.  If they had been dropped off, she could start her search between there and my work.  If they weren’t at school, then she would make a B-line to my house.  Quick to action and ready to roll.  I think mom may have missed her calling by not becoming a detective.

She called the school.  “Um, this is going to sound like a weird question, but, I’m Paige and Trystan‘s grandma.  We can’t find their mom.  Were the kids dropped off at school?”

“Yep, they’re here.  Let me get the Principal for you.”

The Principal, in her infinite wisdom, scanned the pews at Mass before coming to the phone.

“Hi.  She’ in church.”

Praise the Lord!  I had been found.

Aw shucks….I might have looked good on a milk carton.

Meanwhile, back at the bat cave, um, I mean my work, they were feverishly digging through the paperwork, hoping to find proof that I wasn’t supposed to be there.  Eureka!  I’ve found it!  Kerry, 4/25, out 8-10 am at kid’s Mass.  Then my director asked the key question….”Did I sign the sheet?”  “Yes, yes you did.”

When mom called my work back to give them the good news, they relayed to her the mix-up with the paperwork and apologized for the near heart-attack they offered her as a birthday present.

I arrived at work to cheers, applause, and hugs.  The prodigal co-worker that was once lost, had been found.

Some times you walk through life not knowing if others around you really care, if you’re actually seen, if you’d really be missed.  Today I learned how kind, loving, and caring my friends at work truly are.  I’m proud to say that you have given me my Sally Field moment…

You like me, you really like me!

And I love you all!





Pumpkin Pie

Today I become the parent of a teenager.  What?  No!  How did this happen?? (Ok, I know how this happened and I’m NOT telling you that story.  You’re welcome.)  But how can I have a teenager?!?!?!

IP and I tried everything we could to stop this from happening.

We asked her nicely.  “Please stop growing up so fast.”  (She only smiled at me.  Trying to fight nice with nice.  I’ll show her.)

We tried being discouraging.  “You don’t want to grow up.  Responsibility sucks!”  (She rolled her eyes and said ‘whatevs.’  ~Sidebar~ What is it with kids shortening words?  That -er fought long and hard to be included in your snotty whatever eyeroll.  Give it the respect it deserves.)

Finally, we just gave a direct order.  “We had a meeting and decided that you are not allowed to become a teenager.  We decided that on your birthday, you will go back to 11.  You were nice at eleven.  Cute, with less attitude.”  (She made a face at me….see…attitude…)

Despite our best effort, our sweet little pumpkin pie, our first-born, turns 13 today.  In honor of my baby doll, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the amazing Paige.

First and foremost, Paige is a mini-me.  The first thing people say when they meet us is, “Wow!  She looks just like you!”  To which I reply, “I definitely know I was given the right child.  There will be no knock on my door from a hospital official, offering us a check and an apology.”

photo copy 14

photo copy 10

photo copy 15

The most frustrating thing about having a mini-me is trying to raise yourself.  When you share the same looks, the same demeanor, and the same mannerisms, you also share the same stubbornness, attitude, and feistiness.  Which basically means I’m raising myself….

photo copy 24

The upside is I get to be a kid again and experience all the joy of the world through her eyes, which isn’t a bad thing and keeps me young at heart.

photo copy 12

photo copy 13

photo copy 8

photo copy 11

Paige has an unnatural obsession with One Direction.  (Ahhh, boy bands.  Like Mother, Like daughter.  See   Along with the constant 1D music, begging for new posters, and being inundated with daily new facts about these British boys, a few months ago, I awoke to this notification on my phone.

photo copy 18

Thank you Paige and iCloud for keeping me in the loop.  I don’t know if I could have gone on without know that!

Paige once accused me of only having children so I could make her vacuum, to which I replied, “You’ve got me.  I went through 9 months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, all the diapers, the toddler phase, and everything since, so I could get maybe 10 years of vacuuming out of you.  I’m crazy like that!”  (Did I mention my daughter is sarcastic?  I wonder where she got that from?)

photo copy 18

Despite the complaining, Paige has become this awesomely responsible young lady.  The other day she made herself french toast AND cleaned up after herself!!!

photo copy 17

She also reads and studies without being asked!!!  (Trust me, there were days I never thought we’d get here.)

Paige’s nickname around the house is Messy Martha, and boy has she earned that name.  This is a common sighting in our house.

photo copy 21

How did she get the caramel all the way up there?  I mean I can see the upper lip, but the forehead?!?!  Oh Paige.  And despite having a neat-freak, OCD mother, this is what Paige considers a clean room.  Apparently, the DNA replication missed a gene….  

photo copy 19

I just broke out in hives looking at this picture.  On Saturdays I make her clean it to my standards.  It looks like this again shortly after she finishes.  I think she has Oompa Loompas hiding under her bed that help her mess it back up.  Luckily, the days that aren’t Saturday, I take the advice of my wise mother and close the door.

The good news is, we like her and I think we’ll keep her around for a while.  At least as long as we are getting some good chores out of her.  I mean it IS the reason we had her after all 😉

Stubborn, determined, smart, hardworking….

photo copy 17

Funny, crazy, wacky, sarcastic….

photo copy 22

Kind, caring, nurturing, loving….

photo copy 9

Pumpkin Pie, Directioner, Messy Martha, Mini-Me…

photo copy 16

You can all her whatevs you want, I just know I am lucky and privileged to be able to be called her mom.

Happy 13th Birthday Paige!

photo copy 20

Love, Mom


As I’ve mentioned before, I loathe text lingo.  My pre-teen-nearly teen-don’t remind me how old she’s getting daughter is rambling on about something of major importance in the seventh grade world.  I’m half listening, half making my mental list of evening activities when I hear her  saying, “OMJ!  OMJ!”

“OMJ?  Paige, it’s OMG,” I say as I shake off that disgusting slimy feeling from actually having to have vocalized OMG.

“No mom, I meant OMJ.  It’s better than OMG!

Not wanting to miss out on the newest coolness and knowing the importance of keeping up with what the kids are doing these day, I bite and ask, “Awesome Paige!  What does OMJ stand for then?”

Oh My Golly!!”, she says, smiling proudly of her witty creation.

“Um, ok….Honey….that’s still OMG.”  Dammit, why must I having to use lingo. Make it stop.

May beautiful daughter rolls her eyes at me.  “NOOOOO!  I said Oh My Golly… it’s O-M-J!”

“Noooo…Golly is G-O-L-L-Y.  Still OMG.”

“NOOOO!  Oh My Golly is O-M-J….whatever the other letters you said.”

OMJ…what am I going to do with this girl???

Nice Try!

Some people have kids to love, cuddle, and cherish.  I had mine to make sure I have someone to spoon feed me, change my pants, and let me live in their basement in my golden years.  No really!  And you have to have at least two.  One might be a screw up who refuses to be guilted into taking you in.  It’s too much of a risk.  A side bonus to bringing these crazy kiddos into the world, is their ability to provide an endless stream of blog material for me to put out into the universe to, hopefully, entertain the masses.

These two conversations happened within minutes of each other this afternoon.

While I was correcting my kids homework, I called Paige over to look at one of her math problems.  As I’m asking her a question, she leans in breathes on me.   Luckily, I was already sitting down or I might have fainted from the smell.

Me – “Whoa!  Um, you need to brush your teeth.”

Paige – “I did!”

Me – “Apparently not good enough.”

Paige – “Well…. I did have gym today.”

Me – “Yeah, that’s not how that works.”

Nice try Paige.

Then within a matter of minutes, Paige reaches into her backpack, pulls out a dollar, and announces, “Hey! I found a dollar!”

Trystan – “If it has George Washington on it, it’s mine.”

Nice try Trystan.