Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Today happens to be a pretty cool date, 12-12-12, it is also my sister-in-law's birthday!

Since it's such a neat day, I thought I'd blog about it!

Sue and her family were the last members I had to meet when Marc and I started dating.  I had heard about her and how she was "mom #2" to Marc.  I had also heard that maybe she was very much the oldest child, she called the shots.

Kind of made me nervous!

BUT I knew if I could get in good with her two daughters, I could win her over.  So Marc and I spoiled the girls for our first meeting, which I think was Easter (someone correct me if I'm wrong).  They seemed to like me, so it eased my mind a bit.

Sue and I actually hit it off pretty well!  Whew!  Whole family met, all cool, no weirdos, and they seemed to accept me.  YAY!

Since then Sue and I have been pretty close.  Whenever I'm having a "mom moment" I turn to her because I know she won't judge, just validate.  Her daughters are 12 and 11 so she's been through all the crazy toddler years. And much like my children, hers are very creative with their behavior.  Sue is a SAHM like me, left a pretty great job to be one.  Never looked back.  I know a lot of moms and she is probably the one with the most on her plate.  The most on her plate with the least amount of help.  When I'm whiney and cranky and tired, I call in Lor or my in-laws to help since they are all within 30 minutes of me.  Sue doesn't have that luxury.  I tell her all the time I don't know how she does it!!!  She is my mom idol.  Momdol?  That's too close to Midol, I'll stick with two words.

Sue is also a TON of fun!  If you want to experience a DMB show, take Sue, she'll make it AWESOME!  No lie!  The best workout I ever got was running after her at the DMB show in Charlottesville.  And it was one of the best moments EVER to see her watching them play "Long Black Veil".  This is a song she used to rock her babies to sleep with.  Touching moment, for sure.

I think it's really important to find other moms that you can be honest with, that can truly help you through difficult times, and enjoy the good times as well.  I've definitely found that in Marc's sister.  And what's really cool is Sue's oldest daughter is seriously one of my BFFs.  She keeps me up to date with all the latest apps, music, movies, etc.  When they come down for Christmas, T and I will be going to dinner and a movie, just us two. I can't wait!

I'm pretty lucky I married in to such an amazing family!  Happy birthday, Sue!! Hope it's a great one!!!!

(Sorry the kids sang the wrong name!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ugh! I Annoy Me!

I realize this is the most annoying thing a SAHM can say, but I'd really like a day off.  Maybe not even a whole day (because let's be honest, I'd be bored), but just enough time to nap.  I'd really like a nap.  And to eat peacefully by myself.  And maybe take a bath. And not clean up puke or poop.  Or snot, I've witnessed a lot of snot as of late.  I won't get in to how many loads of laundry have been done since the ickness hit. Nothing would be better than to have the ability to take my kids to preschool/daycare and drop them off with no worries.  How awful is that of me?  Pretty awful, but oh well.

Oh and the crying and whining...I'd be ok with that ending.  And that's just me I'm talking about! If the kids stopped that'd be a bonus.

Waaa waaa waaa, whine whine whine, gotta get it out of mah system.  Yes, I realize I could have it much worse.  Yes, I realize I signed up for this.  Yes, I realize you are probably rolling your eyes and saying I am annoying.  Go ahead, I agree with you, but I'm still human and still really tired.

Super excited to play volleyball tonight.  And the upcoming DMB shows with my honey and some awesome friends!


This is for my dear husband!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Just Stick Out My Chin

I feel sort of like nothing has happened lately and so much has happened lately.  I guess that's what happens when you are a stay at home mom.  I never know what day of the week it is, let alone the date on the calendar, shoot, I'm lucky if I guess the correct month! Which reminds me, if I ever wake up from a coma DO NOT ask me what year it is! I won't know.  Just ask me which Housewives series is currently playing on Bravo. HA!

Anyhoo, last week, Friday to be exact, was an eventful day.  One that still makes me sad if I really think about.  Friday morning Carter declared that she did not want to go to school...and then the tears started.  Not in a "I'm a kid and trying to get out of going" sort of way, like real, honest to goodness tears.  Heart breaking.  Poor Marc looked the worst out of all of us.  So we probed to figure out what was going on and she said something about kids laughing at her.  I could see the sadness in Marc's face turn to a bit of dad rage.

We tried to talk with her about it, calm her down, assure her no one was laughing at her, but she was really sad.  I still don't know how Marc was able to leave for work.  I am sure his mind was all over the place.

So, like any mom would do, I called my mom.  She raised five kids in to adulthood, surely she had dealt with this before.  So we talked for awhile and decided the best course of action was for me to not make a big thing out it, fearing that would get her more emotional, and still send her to school.  Gabe had school that day so we were already going, dropping her off wouldn't be a big thing.  We also decided if Carter really really insisted on not going, I wouldn't make her.  Thanks, mom!

Then Carter said something interesting during the car ride to school. She said they play Ring Around the Rosie and she fell down and hurt her toe. BINGO!  The girl gets embarrassed quite easily and is VERY hard on herself.  So, she probably fell too early, got hurt, and thought when they kids laughed it was at her.  I know that wasn't the case, but she didn't know that.  To her she was sad and the other kids weren't being nice.

So I talked to Carter's teacher about it and she said nothing outstanding had happened that would make her think the kids were laughing at Carter.  I told her the RAtR story and she agreed that was probably it.  She also agreed that Carter is hard on herself and that probably added to the pain.  The teacher also mentioned that the kids are learning new songs in music class for the Christmas program, so if CJ was having any trouble with that, it would make her sad as well.

It all clicked in my brain!  It was a hurricane of events that lead to her crying that morning.  Not easy, not good, but manageable.  Let me just say, the whole time I was talking to the teacher Carter hung out by my leg.  Usually she runs right in and starts playing.  So I had to peel her off of me and give her to the teacher.  CJ cried and yelled for me as I left.

Awful.  Just awful.  In 3 1/2 years she's never really done that.  I used to leave her with Dana, no problem, every day of preschool up until now, no problem.  I almost broke down in the hallway but knew that would be good for no one!!!  It did help that the teacher said she'd call me if Carter didn't calm down.

Whew!  Once I got to the car I called my mom, told her this is a hard gig, and then started crying.

I now know, without a doubt, what it means to feel someone else's pain.  It was awful. I wanted to take every tear away from her and make it my own.  Every feeling of sadness, loneliness, embarrassment I wanted to own.  Is this all a great lesson for her? Yes.  For me as well? Yes.  But good God is it hard to get through.  I have to keep reminding myself that these are the "easy" days, the problems will only get bigger and more complicated.

At 11:00 the preschool number popped up on my phone, "Hmmm?" I thought, "Guess Carter isn't doing well."

It was Gabe's teacher.  He bit someone.  Through the skin.  I had to pick him up.


Harper was sleeping, school is out at 11:50, I'd have to wake her up, go get him, come home just to go back. PLUS the fact that my son is now a juvenile delinquent and harmed someone.  A little kid.  Ey yi yi.  I was HOT!  The teacher kept apologizing, even though it wasn't her fault at all!!

So I plucked him out of juvie and fussed with him the whole way home.  I asked him why he did this and he said, "No push."  Well, we are teaching him that, so I can't be too mad, I guess.  So I said, "Yes, no push, but you can't bite either.  Why did you bite?"

"Ice cream!!" chomp chomp.

Yes, he acted out the "chomp chomp".

So he thought this kid was ice cream?  He was just playing?  I have no clue.  And an explanation really doesn't matter because it's just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Head back to get Carter at school and I am moving as fast as I can...don't want the parents of the victim jumping me in the parking lot!  Cause the good Lord above knows I'd be giving some stink eyes to the parent of the kid that bit my kid!!

It was a tough day.  Emotionally draining.

Then Marc worked until midnight.  So I had the crier and the hooligan to myself.  I can't even tell you what Harper did that day.  Oops!

But, like Annie said, the sun will come up tomorrow! Saturday ended up being almost near perfect.  The kids were good, Marc and I had a date, got to hang out with family and the weather was gorgeous.

Then on Sunday my volleyball team defied all odds and beat the number 2 team in the league.  We had fun and played well.  It was awesome!!!

So, that was a lot of rambling to say that parenting truly is a roller coaster and you never know which way the cart is going to move!!  You can write a blog one day about how great your kid is and then he turns around and bites someone.  Little shit.  (But I love you buddy!)

How has your roller coaster ride been lately?  And this goes for all humans I guess, not just parents!

(So I totally love Annie, like love love this movie! And I promise you, you'll be singing this song all day now!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Dare I say it?!  Gabriel has been AMAZING lately!! He has been listening well, sleeping well, eating well, playing nicely, talking up a storm, remembering things I've said, just all around well behaved.  I am so proud of the guy.  We had a rough time got so bad I pulled a muscle in my neck from yelling at him.  That night at volleyball I started crying because I was so stressed out.  It was bad, now it's great.


The girl. The baby.  The Harper got whatever it was that Gabe had.  She is a nut.  At Barnes and Noble yesterday she started climbing on the books.  She would walk past toys and hit them to the ground one by one.  She started sprinting across the children's section and laughing the whole way.  She'd even run down the aisle, in to the next, purposely trying to run away from me.  And at home she'll move the television and when I yell at her for it, she laughs in my face.  Then usually runs away.  Laughing.

Ey yi yi!

My baby is tiny but full of spunk.  I thought Gabe was my match but it's looking like it'll be Harper.  I am pretty sure the ABC store will be getting a lot of business from me in the next few years.

Babies of the family sure are interesting folk!

It's amazing they are only 14 months apart, he is a giant, she is a Smurf.  And look at my boy being calm and reading a book while his sister is a climbing fool!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Tonight the Tarheels of North Carolina will be playing the Cavaliers of Virginia.  Nothing like college football on a Thursday night.

It actually reminds me of a date I went on once.  It was with this really nice, quiet guy, that I didn't know all that well.  We had only talked on the phone a couple of times and met once in person.  He was cute so I figured one date wouldn't hurt.

Although, I have been on some pretty rough dates so I was a bit apprehensive.

But my friends encouraged me to go, "Give it a shot."

We had dinner first and that was very nice.  I ordered the pizza appetizer and the boy made fun of me for it! Jerk!  He tried his hardest to talk, I tried my hardest to get my foot to stop shaking.  And, like the charming gal I am, I didn't talk much and just watched Sports Center.

Dinner over, game time.

We went to his apartment to put on warmer clothes. HE went in to his apartment, I changed by my car. There was NO WAY I was going in his apartment, especially to change.  Both changed, warm clothes on, time to walk to the game.

He guided me through a dark alley behind the UVa hospital.  I walked a comfortable distance away from him in case I had to make a break for it.  Seriously!  I didn't know this guy, he could have been a rapist.  Always thinking this one!

Get to the game and find our seats.  It was a bit on the chilly side with a bit of mist in the air.  I didn't care! Which is strange for me because I don't usually like the elements.  But I was on my home turf, feeling good, and finally relaxed.  We talked and talked and talked.  No forcing, no trying too hard, just easy.  Then we went to get something from the concession stand.  The guy runs in to someone he knows and starts yapping away.  I was standing off all by my lonesome.  This annoyed me so I went back to our seats. I thought it was so rude he was on a date with me and talking, in length, to someone else.

He finally found his way back to the seats and said he couldn't escape the guy.  The other guy was a bit drunk and a close talker.  The boy was annoyed and was trying so hard to get away and couldn't.  I thought it was cute that he was telling me all this.

Game over, walk back THROUGH THE ALLEY, and to his apartment so I could get in my car and go home.  It was late, I was tired, and I had a 30 minute drive home up a mountain.  I just wanted to sleep.  But the boy INSISTED I listen to a certain lyric in a certain song.  Well, he couldn't find said lyric or even the correct song. So he stood outside my car instructing me to change it to the next song, no the next, try this one.  UGH! A NOY YING!

At that point I sort of started writing the guy off.  Eventually we found the song and to this day I can't even remember what it was.  So much effort for nothing. HA!

Well that boy eventually gave me a ring and then his last name.  I gave him three adorable babies.

And we gave each other the best happy ever after.

Monday, November 5, 2012

King of the Swaddle

My birth experience with Carter was not all dreamy and romantic.  It was, for sure, a LABOR!  After a couple of days of hell I ended up having a c-section.  I was in lots o' pain after and couldn't do much.  You know what sucks?  Not being able to give birth and then not being able to take care of your child.  It was brutal.

BUT through the experiences that happened after we had Carter my love for Marc grew in ways I didn't know it could.

Marc bathed her, gave her bottles, changed her diapers, dressed her, cuddled her and swaddled her.  After three kids I can assure you, he is the King of the Swaddle.  NO ONE can swaddle like he can.  He should teach a class on it, actually!

It was hard for me to see my husband doing just about everything while I laid in pain.  But you know what?  He did it without complaint.  He did it without resentment.  I didn't have to ask, suggest, nag, or beg him to do anything, he just knew to do it.  And he did it so well.

I remember the first time I had to fix a bottle.  I did it all wrong and formula came out.  I cried.

I remember the first time I gave her a bath.  I didn't know what I was doing at all. I cried.

I remember the first time she was crying uncontrollably and I wasn't able to calm her.  I cried.

But Marc never rubbed in my face that he knew how to do everything and I didn't.  He never stepped in and just said, "I'll do it, you go rest."  He let me try, he let me struggle, he let me figure it all out.  And somehow he was able to sense when I was done and needed his help. Then he quietly came in and took care of the situation.

This pattern has not changed after three kids.  He takes care of me and the kids quietly, with no fanfare.  He just goes about his duties, exceeding in everything he does.

I don't think either of us really knew anything about babies before having them.  We took a class through the hospital and what we learned there was about all we knew.  We went in to parenthood on the fly, figuring it out as we went (go) along.  Trusting our instincts is how we go about this parenting thing.

Now we don't have any baby babies in the house, so the days of the swaddle are over, the days of newborn cries are done, but we face different dilemmas now.  And Marc, my amazing husband, still approaches all of his duties in the same manner.  Silently being awesome, silently being my rock.

He makes sure all the doors are locked before bed, makes sure candles are blown out, dryer off, cars locked, that all the cars have gas, bills are paid, home taken care of, family is happy.  Of course he does a million other things, but these are the ones I tend to forget about and he has to come to the rescue.  Except that family happy part, I think I do that ok!

After the devastation of Sandy I've really tried to focus on all the good in my life and not stress about stuff I cannot control.  My family is safe, we are together, we are happy, we are blessed.  And the man directing this ship is my favorite person in the whole world.

He was gone for one and a half days last week and I missed him every second he was away.  As hard as it is when he is gone, it always confirms to me that I am still crazy about him.  On Saturday night I made him the first meal I ever made for him when we started dating.  Hoagie sandwiches. HA!  Yep, the first time I "cooked" for him it was sandwiches.  I did warm them up in the oven, so technically it was cooking.  But I did this to show him that I still want to "date" him, I still have a crush on him, and through all the craziness that occurs in our lives, it's by his side I want to be.

Ok, sappy post over!  I just want to let the universe know that I won the lottery when I met Marc. Thank God for UVa for introducing me to him!

This was one of the first pictures I ever saw of him.  It was on a little known site called "MySpace"!  Hook, line, and sinker. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lessons From a Child

Two events happened yesterday that made me stop and take notice.  Possibly insignificant to anyone else, but hit me like a ton of bricks.

The first happened when Carter was being a "sassy molassey" to me.  This is what I call her when she's being fresh.  So I told her this and she went running away. About ten minutes later she came up to me and said, "I'm sorry I was being a sassy lassy, I was just mad."


She listens to me...I have a really bad habit, that I'm working on, of fussing with her when I am truly upset with someone or something else.  She'll ask to do something while I am changing a diaper, she'll be talking non stop while I'm on the phone trying to make an appt, the stories are endless.  And in my frustration I yell at her.  After I am calm and my duty is done, I apologize for yelling at her when I was actually mad at something else.  Now, I am not someone that believes you have to explain to your child why you yelled, they should just listen to you.  BUT if I am truly in the wrong, I think it's only right to acknowledge it.  Well daggonit if it that little lesson didn't get picked up by Carter.

It  made me realize that what I say and do really does have an impact on my kids.  The good, the bad, the indifferent.  Carter will randomly hug my legs if we are standing next to each other and say "I love you, mommy."  I am CONSTANTLY hugging my kids and telling them I love them.  Carter randomly yells at her toys to be quiet, something else I do quit often. And when I'm not looking, she is giving a binkie to Harper to make her stop crying or she is handing Gabe his woobie to make him feel better.  She takes care of her siblings so well and I hope it's because she is a good person, but also because she is mimicking my nurturing of them.

Then at lunch time I was doing the dishes in preparation for Hurricane Sandy to hit, expecting to not have power, and Carter asked if I would have Lunch Bunch with her.  I snapped and said, "I just want to get these dishes done, I'll be there in a minute."  And then I almost burst in to tears.  My daughter, my first born, my angel baby just wants me to sit and eat lunch with her, are dishes really that important?!  NO!!! NEVER!!!  So I put down the sponge, got myself some berries (what she calls grapes), some pretzels and water, and sat and had lunch with my baby.

I am so guilty of getting wrapped up in things that "have" to be done that I miss the important things.  Thank God Carter is patient enough with me to learn my lesson in a timely manner.  She was so thrilled that I was eating with her.  My presence was all she needed and it's something I can give her, so easily! I vow to try so much harder with this.

This morning she asked if I would cuddle with her on the couch.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and sat with her.  I hugged her, smelled her hair, rubbed her legs, enjoyed the moment.

Carter Jeanie, thanks for teaching me what's really important, you, Gabe, Harper, and of course Dadadt.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Roanoke Fall


This is my first "real" fall in Roanoke.  When we moved here in the fall of 2010 we had a slightly rough go at it.  Marc, while moving out of our Charlottesville home, hurt his back for the third year in a row.  He was in a lot of pain.  So, with in two weeks of moving here, he had back surgery.  Ugh!  This left him laying on his back for weeks in his parent's basement.  This left me taking care of him and our 4 month old son and our 1 1/2 year old daughter.  Marc's parents helped as well, thank God, so I can't leave them out of this little story.  But with all of this going on I didn't really get out much to enjoy the beauty that is the valley.

Last fall I had a newborn, a 1 year old, and a 2 1/2 year old, DEFINITELY not getting out of the house to enjoy the beauty of the star city.  And if I did get out, it was for a quick trip to the store.  No long drives admiring my surroundings.

So, here I am, loving every chance I get to be outside.  Charlottesville, well Charlottesville is gorgeous in the fall, it really is, but I have my heart set on Roanoke.  The sky is so blue, the colors of the leaves are so vibrant.  We've got orange, we've got red, we've got yellow!!!  I do believe Bob Ross may have painted this just for me!!!

I took this picture a few weeks ago, I'm a little bummed all the leaves are green. But look at the blue sky!! MAHN!

It helps that I drive to preschool twice a day, everyday, and get to see my favorite time of year all around me.  It fills me with such happiness.  Unless of course Harper is screaming in the back seat and Gabe is whining about something, but I mean, overall I love our little car rides.  And lately we've been passing "Spook House", a house decorated for Halloween that the kids go nuts over.

And I have to note this, hoping to recreate the magic, I took Gabe and Harper to Barnes and Noble after dropping Carter off and they were SO GOOD!!!  The best they've been in awhile and it made me love this day even more.  I find that when I have a really awful day, my kids get together and figure out a way to make it up to me.  They made up for it BIG! They gave me a grand scene and wonderful behavior.  

One of my most favorite things ever is to take pics with my kids! Especially when I think one of them looks just like me!

Soft spot for this one.

 She lights up my life! GAH! So cute!

 Gotta love a free place to take the kids to play!

 She's insanely yitto!

 You know you'll have a good day when you see this book!!

His treat for being so amazing!

I'm feeling super blessed today and Momma Lemert told me I had to start counting my blessings!  So, today, October 24, 2012, I count 5 blessings: Marc, Carter, Gabe, Harper and Fall in Roanoke! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Get So Emotional Baby

I have been an emotional mess today!

After dropping Gabe off in his classroom I walked out in to the hallway to see one of his paintings. Further down the hall I passed his class picture.  All of it was too much for me.  I almost started to openly weep.  I was strong and held back.  I'm guessing it's the fact I haven't dropped him off at school in two weeks.  And the fact that we haven't been apart for that long.  He's my bud, my pal, and even though he causes me to lose my voice and hurt my neck from yelling, I'm crazy about him.

Then at home Harpie turned in to a cuddly bug.  The good kind of cuddly where she just wants hugs and not the wiggly cuddly that is annoying.

THEN I was watching a recording of "Project Runway" on Lifetime and apparently there is a new show coming out about the Houstons. The song they chose to use for the preview was "My Love is Your Love".  Well if that didn't just do me in!!


The part that gets me the most is "As the years they pass us by, we stay young through each other's eyes, and no matter how old we get, it's okay as long as I got you baby."

Our trip to Cape May, NJ last week was to celebrate Marc's parent's 50th wedding anniversary. Barb and her sisters (plus their families) make this trip yearly, but it was the first trip for us! I'll have to write a whole separate blog on this because the trip was amazing and 50 years of marriage is even more amazing!!!  But, what the trip did was made me fall in love, even more, with my family.

I am truly blessed.

And all the tears in the world wouldn't be enough to prove it! HA!

I guess this is a short, quick post to commemorate the awesomeness that is Team Patrouch. The entire team...Mom and Pop, Sue, Tate, Tay Tay, and Sammy, Lor and my BFF Steve, Mike and Becky, and of course, Marc and my birds.

My life is a good life.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I've turned in to a baker lately.  Not sure if it's the Autumn air, something to keep myself busy, or to have a tangible object that someone can comment positively on, but I've baked A LOT of cookies lately.  Just this morning I made some more for my sister-in-law, Gretchen.

This baking has added to my busy schedule though.  That's right, I'm finally truly busy.  Not with anything grand, but enough stuff to fill my days.  I take CJ to school for 9 am, pick her up at 11:50 am, every day.  Add GB to the mix on Thursdays and Fridays.  The thing about dropping off/picking up is that I have 2-3 kids to load up each time.  If you ever want a good arm work out, put kids in and out of carseats 4 times a day.  It's exhausting and sometimes painful.  And that's when they are cooperating.

In the hours of school I bake.  Or I clean.  Lately I've been trying to get stuff together for our family trip coming up.  Or I drive over to Mom and Pop's so Gabe can get  his Pop Pop fix.  And so I can get my Mom Mom fix.  On Thursdays it's become a tradition that HR and I walk around Target.

Again, I'm not busy with meetings, work assignments, or anything other than things I WANT to be doing, but nonetheless I've been busy.  Plus, I'm playing on two volleyball teams.  The games are Sundays and Tuesdays, but this week, of all weeks, I play Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  I have a feeling I will be super exhausted tonight.  I can already feel it in my bones.

AND my middle bird has been more than a handful to deal with lately.  I mean like out of his mind crazy which is making me out of my mind crazy.  ANNNNDDD the birds have a cold.  Marc had it for a week as well.  I am still crossing my fingers and doing a dance that I don't get it.  I cannot be sick right now.  I just can't.

Since I've occupied my time with lots of activities I haven't reached out to as many people as I used to. And I've noticed not as many people have reached out to me.  I guess that's how most relationships go, a sort of tug-o-war.  Plus, it appears everyone is tied up in something.  When do we ever get to just sit and enjoy this life we have created?!

I'm really looking forward to our family trip.  I adore Marc's immediate family as well as his extended family.  With so many people around and so many kids around the same age, I'm expecting a lot of laughs and story telling.  It's fun being a part of another family to hear all the new stories.  I mean, my family has some great ones, but I know those!  I'm looking forward to some new ones!!  The drive may kill me though, so wish us luck!!

The other exciting part of this journey is that we are making a one night stop at my parent's house in Charlottesville.  For whatever reason, I never feel bad for letting my parents take over watching the kids.  With others I feel like I have to sort of help out or at least be present, not with them.  I use and abuse my own mom and dad! HA! But it's one of the few times that I can go lay on a bed if I want and not do a thing with my kids.  Little slice of Heaven. :-)

So, although I am sure some will look at this and laugh at me thinking I'm busy, but that's how I've been feeling.  A tad bit overwhelmed if you will!  Luckily I have my new favorite thing in the world, Chai Tea Lattes to help calm me.  So freaking  yummy!

What do you do to unwind, de-stress, take a moment to enjoy this crazy life?!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Oh Ferris, you are so right! Life has the ability to sneak up on you; that happened to me yesterday.

In the Spring of 1999 I pledged and became a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha.  Because of ZTA I had a hell of a good time at Longwood College (yes, I am so old I went there when it was still a college!).  And from that I gained some amazing friends and a best friend that rivals a true blood sister.  I was lucky to join such a great group of girls.

Fast forward to September 2012 when I found out my niece would be getting a bid from ZXA (an off shoot of ZTA...long story, but basically I consider these women my sisters).  So in one day I went from being the only Zeta in my family, to my niece pledging Zeta.  CRAZY!  When I met Ashley she was maybe 13 or 14 years old, now she's in college. Golly day did that happen fast!

When it came up that she was hanging out with the Zetas I was thrilled.  But I never wanted her to join because I was in it, I didn't want her to feel as though she couldn't join another sorority if she wanted to. And I didn't want the Zetas to feel as though they HAD to give her a bid.  So I just sort of stayed out of the way.  But Brittany and Kimi both let me know Ashley would be getting a bid!  YAY!  And yay to my fam for keeping me in the loop!!

So here we are over a decade later and I'll have a niece/sister...a bit weird but a lot awesome!  I wish her luck during her pledge period.  I'll have to write about my pledge experience sometime.  I thought pledging was sort of hilarious and girls crying made me laugh/pissed me off.  I was a total brat back then.  Well, maybe I still am.

Anyhoo, good luck Ashley!  Can't wait to come to Longwood to roster you!! Hehehehe!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 and Kids

I am sure, even 11 years later, we all can recall details of that horrible day.

I was sleeping in my college dorm when the phone started ringing.  And kept ringing and ringing.  I finally answered it.  My roommate was from Jersey and her mom was calling to check in and give updates.

I immediately turned on the news.

The rest of my memories involve sitting with sisters, talking, waiting, discussing, dissecting.  I was a psychology major so of course in class we talked a lot about the feelings surrounding the day.

My most vivid memory is how blue and clear the sky was...a perfect September morning on my beloved campus.

Today is much the same.  A crystal clear sky, beauty all around me as I drove my kids to school.  Fall in the valley, no where else I'd rather be.

But today is much different than any other year, I now have a curious toddler. A toddler who is smart, inquisitive, receptive to information.  She sat on my lap as I checked fb and today it has been filled with 9/11 pictures, some to include firefighters.

She pointed to one and said, "That's a firefighter.  He's going to save people in their house."

At that moment I didn't know how to respond.  She obviously knows a little about firefighters and what they do, but how much detail do I give out  regarding one of the worst days for the US?  How much information do I hand a 3 year old without scaring her, scarring her, or totally freaking her out? But she asked and I felt the need to respond.  I am not in the camp of treating children like they are unintelligent little beings.  Yes, you should simplify it and make it easy for them to understand, but I don't think you should shield them from things they want to know.  I also believe a lot of what you say depends on the particular child.  This child wants answers.

So I told her that planes crashed in to two buildings and the firefighters had to go and help them.

This was a satisfactory answer to my darling daughter.

I know questions will always flow from this one and in time from the others.  As a mother I will have to navigate the waters and decide how to handle delicate conversations.  I will also quickly figure out which conversations are best left for dad!

So, parents, if you've ever had to have a serious, delicate conversation with your child, how did you handle it?  Have any of your kids asked about 9/11?  What was your response?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September - Gabe's Month

I've come to realize September is a big month for me and the Gabester.

The week of September 20th, 2010 I dropped Mr. Gabe off at daycare.  A place I had become familiar with, ok with, comfortable with.  Carter had been going since May 2009 and Dana and I had formed a tight bond.

The week of September 3rd, 2012, September 6th to be exact, I dropped my baby boy off at preschool.

He willingly went.  I subconsciously was pissed.

"Why aren't you sad?  Don't you love me?  Won't you miss me?  Two years we've had together, doesn't that mean anything to  you?"  In a Lifetime movie I'd have mascara running down my face.

Yes, I am THRILLED he is excited, but a part of me wanted him to be a wee bit sad.  At least a hug/kiss goodbye.  He just went right to playing, with no worry of me.

I still got Harpie though!

When we went to pick Gabe up from the hour long open house, we walked in to him rubbing the shoulders of a teacher aide, Emily.  Always the ladies man. We soon found out he had escaped three times.  Marc's co-worker joked that he had a tattoo of the place so he could escape a la Michael Scofield. Making an impact the first day!

When we went to pick Carter up from school yesterday Gabe tried to pull me in to the school.  He desperately wanted to go play with the dinosaurs.

I was so worried about my boy, my middle child, my baby, and I didn't need to be.  Sheesh!

He was the one that broke me.  He was the one that pushed me over the edge and demanded I stay at home with my babies.  He was such a difficult newborn and I didn't want anyone else comforting him. I wanted to do it.  I wanted to hear the screams, the cries, be the one that walked him to sleep.  I wanted him to know that no matter what, no matter how bad he was, I still loved him and will always be there for him.  Daycare lasted about a month before we moved.  I only had a short break from him.

Almost two years later here I am saying goodbye.  I had a very strong inclination that we would be moving when I sent him to daycare, so I never looked at it in a long term focus.  I just needed to work for one more month, that was it. Then I got to hug and kiss my babies all day long.

Gaberdoodle, you're bigger and stronger than I give you credit for.  You are ready to do this, ready to learn, ready to make friends, and ready to rub the shoulders of the lady folk.  Just don't get any harassment charges in preschool, that will set a bad precedent!

Your first day at daycare.  That smile hasn't changed one bit!

Big backpack, Little Gabe

Harper LOVES the camera!

Me and my boy!

Dad photobombing the pic, Carter sensing it!

Brother and sister!

Harper hugging Carter!


Gabe's typical placement of his finger!

I heart this picture in a big way!!!!

He just looks like a kid to me now, so much bigger.

Andrea O., I got a shot of them holding hands!

Harper enjoying her cake pop and the freedom of being an only child.

This has been an emotionally long week for me.  I am exhausted!  But I only have one more hour before I can scoop up my kiddies and hear about their days!  I.cannot.wait!  I'm pretty sure Harper wishes the days were longer though. Ha!

And because I have to assign music to every important event, here are some lyrics to a song that makes me cry EVERY time I hear it...these lines in particular.

"The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, will find the mouse
And I love you"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Carty Jeanie and Preschool

"My head won't leave my head alone."

Oh Dave Matthews, how right you are!

Carter, you started preschool today!!  On the way to school I asked if you were nervous and you said, "No, mom, I'm a big girl."  And looked at me like I was nuts.  Maybe I am, but I was nervous.

There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head.  I'm excited for you, happy for you, glad you get to do your own thing. But gosh darn if I'm not a complete mess.  I managed to hold it together until we got to the car.  I didn't want to upset you.  But when I got there, the tears started.  I was taken right back to the first time I dropped you off at daycare.  You were SO little, just 8 weeks old, and here you are 3 1/2.  You are still a gem, still darling, and I am still crazy about you.  Just like May 19, 2009 you fit right in and didn't cry at all when I left.  You got to playing, sitting next to your new classmates, and didn't even wave goodbye.  I made you kiss me, though, and your brother.

This is the beginning of me letting you go.  Of letting you fly alone.  You're gonna soar.  You're gonna do great.  You have strength inside of you while still being soft and sweet.  When we were walking in the steps were slippy and you held Gabe's hand so he wouldn't fall.  Always the big sister, always helpful.  Such a big girl.

I've been trying to distract myself since we dropped you off.  The kids and I went to Starbucks so they could get cake pops.  God smiled at me and put the salted caramel mocha back on the menu.  Just in time, thanks Big Guy!  I sang songs in the car, careful to not listen to anything sentimental.  I didn't make a playlist, I didn't put your birth playlist on, I let the radio Gods decide for me.  They played "Dancing Queen" and I started crying.  You are my dancing queen, always showing off your moves, shaking your butt, enjoying the beat.  Of course a fun, happy song would make me cry.

The house is so quiet now.  You aren't here to ask me a million questions, talk to me about EVERYTHING happening, a running commentary on life, no singing, no yelling at Gabe or Harper, no tattling on the little ones, just a few rumblings here and there.

How will I ever do this five days a week? I'm already longing for Saturday when I have you here with me.

This is us on your first day of daycare.  I cried the entire night before and the entire day of!

You're such a big girl! So proud of you!

Everyone wanted to be in the picture!

You and your little sister and brother!

You and your biggest fan, your dad!

He's always so fun and silly!

Your backpack is as big as you are!

You got to pick out your own and you insisted on Minnie Bowtique! 

Your cubby.

You and your teacher. I'm pretty sure you'll love her. And her you!

You jumped right in and started playing.

And so did your brother!

You'll probably be mad when you find out they got these!

I love you Carty Jeanie! (You told me this is what you want your friends to call you!)  You are going to have such a great year and so much fun.  Nights and weekends are going to be so special now, when I get to hear about your day and your excitement for the next day.

You're the best!

Now for a quick trip back to taking you home from the hospital!  "Precious Love" by James Morrison was on the playlist...yes it made me cry!

I say a prayer and send it to you,
That my heart will always be true
Life won't be the same without you
I say thank you,
I'm a lucky man,
I didn't know what life was
But now I understand,

Oh this is love, love, love, love, love precious love
This is precious love, and it’s teaching me,
To be a better man,
This is precious love, oh it’s precious love
No I can’t get enough,
Oh I'm down on my knees, it's there that I see
You must be from heaven above,

Yeah its love, love, love, love, love, precious love

Friday, August 31, 2012

Big Scary Monster

There was a monster in my room this morning. At 4 am it shook me hard and woke me up.  Damn thing wouldn't leave me alone.

It was disguised as a preschool.  Bright happy colors, shapes, letters, numbers, giggles, just awful, horrible things.

It was disguised as two little Patrouchs dressed up for their first day of school.

It was disguised as a mom who is not ready for her birds to leave the nest.


I have to keep telling myself this is a great thing, it'll be good for all of us, this is what happens in life.  Kids grow up.  They cut the cord(s) a long time ago.  The benefits far outweigh the negatives.  The kids will make friends, learn some stuff, be out and about taking on the world.  There is a parade in November, a Christmas show in December, and lots of fun things in between.  A pumpkin patch awaits them, music class, the playground, painting, and a party each month.

How is it that my kids are old enough for classroom parties?  I remember my mom coming to those.  Doesn't that mean I was just a kid?

I'm trying to be strong.  I didn't cry once at orientation, even though I desperately wanted to.  I still plan on sending them, even though I desperately don't want to.

The pain of leaving CJ the first day I dropped her off at daycare is still very strong in my heart.  I'm planning on that exact emotion creeping out on Wednesday.  She was only in daycare for a year and a half, Gabe about a month, but I left her with an amazing woman that has since become one of my closest friends.  She's the only non-family member to have ever watched my children.  How can I possibly break in TWO new people?!  How can I possibly think any situation other than at home with me is good?

Let's not even start to talk about Harper going next year!  She's never been out of my sight for more than a couple days her entire life.


We are fortunate and blessed that I have been able to stay at home at all.  We are lucky to be able to afford such an amazing preschool.  I have to invoke the "Patrouch Power of Positive Thinking" and focus on what a great opportunity this is for all of us.

If I can get through the first week, I think I'll be ok.  Funny that everyone asks how we think Gabe and Carter will's really ME everyone needs to worry about. HA!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Harper!

At 4:30 am Harper cried out, just once.  Enough to wake me up.  She put herself back to sleep but I was awake.  Wide awake.

The morning was still, quiet, dark.  Much like it was a  year ago.  Marc and I had to get up early to get ready and head out.  I didn't get a chance to kiss and hug my first two, but I didn't want to wake them.  I wanted them to enjoy their rest before their lives were changed forever.

It's amazing how the addition of one small baby can really change the flow and energy of a house.  More laughs, more hugs, more kisses, one more bedtime routine, one more morning routine, another personality to get to know.  Hectic, yes.  More work, yes.  Endless flow of love, hell yes.

As I drifted in and out of sleep this morning I kept going back to different moments from Harper's birth day. The way I felt, the way Marc looked, how everyone treated me at the hospital, the excitement bubbling over in all of us.  It was a day for the history books, one of the best days of my life.

At 7:59 am a baby girl was handed to us.

I won't ever be the same.

I love you Harper Riley Patrouch!  Here's your birthday sign from last year!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Little Peanut Happy Pant

These pictures were used for your 1st birthday party invitations!

Deep breath.
I can do this!


I've deleted this post at least once and started over.  I am continually adding and changing things. Words seem so easy, and yet so hard, to come by.  You're an angel baby.  You are sweet and happy, huggable, kissable, and oh so wonderful.  Sometimes I think you might hurt your cheeks from smiling so big!  Your tiny little frame has nothing on your big, humongous smile.  And when you smile, everyone around you smiles, it's infectious.  You are everything I want to be in life - joyful, easy going, one to run with the pack in the best way possible yet willing to strike out on your own at anytime, and always ready to come back to home base for a hug and a snuggle.

You are a snuggler.  My only one.  For the past two weeks I've broken the sleep training law of not cuddling your baby at night, but I couldn't help my self.  Your tiny body on mine, knees tucked under you, arms around my sides, the rhythmic moving of your chest up and down, and the tiniest little sound of your breath in and out.  It was intoxicating.  It paralyzed me.  I'm sure I won't remember exactly how you looked, even though I studied your outline, but the feeling will never be forgotten.  You are my girl, my baby, my last bird and I am guilty of wanting to keep you the baby forever.  You'll be the one I overprotect, the one that I won't let fly out of the nest too often, I'll yell at the other kids for picking on you, I'll make you breakfast while the others are offered bagels.  I got your back!  Forever and always.

Harper, I am struggling with you turning one, probably more so than the other ones.  You are petite, I mean really petite, I think you might reach my knee.  You just look like a baby.  Big eyes, soft cheeks, stalky frame that you toddle around on, meaty hands and knuckles.  Your hair is still fine and wispy, short, barely to your ears, and words have not yet formed.  Your kisses are open mouth and wet, your laugh is still a little rumble.  Adventure for you is climbing up the stairs, following your brother around to pester him, and loving any toy your sister touches. Innocence is still deep inside you, joy can be found easily, and the world is still a place of rainbows and butterflies.

My wish for you is that you always stay this happy.  That you don't let the world toughen you up, hurt your heart, or make you lose your love for your family.  I swear if you don't cuddle with me as a kid, teenager and adult, we'll have words!  I'll carry you in a Moby wrap if I have to!!!  I'm not foolish to think that there won't be tough times ahead, times when we don't agree, times when we don't talk, and times when I am simply unable to take your pain away.  But please know, little girl, I will ALWAYS try my hardest to support you, love you, wipe away tears, make boo-boos better, and be your biggest fan.  I'll wear your jersey, yell the loudest, clap when you dance, sing along to all your songs, get excited for every picture you draw, be nervous and excited for your first school dance, try and be calm when you learn to drive, go with you to vote for the first time, pay for your concert tickets, whoop and holler at your graduations, and lovingly fix your veil on your wedding day.  And, well, for all those little moments in between I'll lend a hand, offer my ear, give you a hug, and pat you on your back.  I'll try to sit back and let you fly, but please know it will kill me.  Hopefully I'll be able to teach you to fly solo and you'll always remember to fly back home.

Tomorrow you won't be a baby, you will officially be a toddler.  Your face will start to change, your body will get longer (maybe!), and you'll start navigating the world on your own a bit more.  I know you'll still need me, but you'll need me less and in different ways.  You're already using a sippy cup, eating food on your own, playing with your siblings without my overprotective glare, walking, climbing, understanding names, growing up right before my eyes.


As I write this I am having a big ol' healthy cry.

When they handed me a 6 pound 14 ounce girl I was instantly in love. You were so perfect, so cute, and looked just like your daddy.  Luckily at this point I was used to that happening!!!   From very early on I knew you'd be a girl, but you would throw me for a loop every now and again and make me think you were a boy.  And you scared me when you measured small while still in my belly.  Really scared me!  You'll learn, quickly, that I freak out pretty easily. When it comes to you three birds my antenna are sensitive!  But here you were, a tiny human being.  I've learned that's just what you are!

HR, Ha Ha, Harps, Harpie, Harpsacord, Harper Ri, Harper Riley, "you right there", baby girl, little peanut happy pant, happy birthday!  Every single part of my heart and soul loves you.

When I was pregnant with you I listened to A LOT of Zac Brown Band, I mean, a lot. One song in particular, Knee Deep.  And whenever it got to one line I would start crying.  Now, they are a country band and this song is a fast paced one, no need to cry, but that's what you do to me!  You make me a mush.  But that's ok, I like who I am because of you.  I am softer, sweeter, and take the time to give real hugs.  You've taught me to truly enjoy the moments of my day.  God sent you to bring sunshine to Team Patrouch.  And sunshine is exactly what you are!

"Never been so happy, never felt so high, and I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise."

Love always and forever and ever,

(PS "Litte peanut happy pant" is the name on the tag of a pair of pants your Aunt Lisa bought you. When your dad and I read it we both said, "Oh my gosh! That is the perfect description for her!"  It's what you are, a little peanut and happy!)

(PPS Here is last year's blog with the story of you, HRP - I Will Follow You Will You Follow Me)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Big Things

Big things are happening!  My youngest, my third bird, my baby will be one on Saturday.  Both sadness and joy creep around my heart for this one.  I'll write more in her birthday blog, but it's something I've thought about everyday this week.  Yesterday I spent time going through the pictures of her birth and first week at home. God, she is a cutie!

CJ and GB are starting school after Labor Day.  C will be going 5 days a week and G 2 days, both 9-12.  Again, sadness and joy for these big events.  I'm hoping to blog about it, but we'll see if I can handle it!

I'm also in the process of potty training CJ.  She doesn't have to be for school, but I think it's time and just needs to be done.  So far so good.  I guess.  One little hiccup (that I won't write here because it's private) but we are working through it!  Cross your fingers for me. What's fun though is that GB takes a turn every now and again and does a great job.  Man, a life without diapers sounds wonderful. Well, at least only having one in diapers!

Still on my Facebook boycott.  I've cheated a few times and reactivated, but I've only stayed on for a few minutes each time and then quickly deactivated.  It's quite freeing, actually.  But the whole reason I did it was so I could spend more time with the kids before school starts.  What I've learned is you can pay attention to them for 23 hours out of the day and the one hour you try to do something (shower, talk on the phone, check email, sit and be quiet) they are all over you, little buggers!  C was as happy as a clam playing by herself until I got on the computer to type this blog, now she is all over me! So if this blog makes no sense, that's why!

Oh, yeah, HR is cutting at least four teeth and it has been a rough ride.  She is not happy, she isn't sleeping well, and a little bit of a crank from time to time.  I do feel awful for her, but I'm not sure what else I can do for her.  Even holding her, which always used to work, doesn't seem to be working.  Ahhhh, the life of a mom, right?!

The summer league of volleyball ended last night and I have a few weeks before the fall season starts.  I have to say, I had fun this summer. Playing outside was great and we had some great people on the team.  Good times!  Luckily I'll have yoga each week so I'm not fully out of doing something for myself.  Yes, once, twice, sometimes three times a week I do something just me, all alone. Selfish, maybe, but much needed.  I STRONGLY suggest it!

Ok, so that's it for now.  Baby #3, TBD, Harper Ri birthday blog to come on Saturday.  If I can make it through a wet keyboard!

Friday, August 10, 2012

ENP Truths

Back in May I read this blog - The Story of Us: My Truths and then in July I read this blog - Womb With a View: Truths.  I love both, a lot! So I have been thinking about my truths.  I've decided to do it a bit differently.  I have three categories because it was too hard to just pick some truths about myself.  I am a mom, wife, and person, and quite honestly I am sort of different, yet the same, in each role.  (Not to say they aren't or anything!!!  They chose to focus on parenting and that's awesome! I am just super wordy and narcissistic and like to blog about myself!!!)

Here I go!

Mom Truths
  • I will always kiss and hug my kids to the point they have to wiggle away. Even when they're 30.
  • I'd go crazy without modern technology. I'd probably be a very bored SAHM.
  • I treat each child differently in almost every aspect-sleep training, discipline, eating, worrying about, love, etc. The one constant is that I'm crazy about them.
  • I'm shocked at how much I love being a mom.
  • Never, ever, ever have I thought about using cloth diapers. It makes me feel icky.
Wife Truths
  • Forever and ever I will worry about Marc liking me.
  • My husband is far and away my best friend. But it's crucial to me to have a girl best friend.
  • Marc is the cutest boy I've ever met. With a super cute butt.
  • I will always feel badly about not giving my husband 100% when he gets home from work. But I'm really tired.
  • Laughing very hard with my husband is a key component to our very happy marriage. He's hilarious!  Him making me laugh means more to me than anything else.
Personal Truths
  • I will always, always laugh at inappropriate things and at the wrong time.  You fall down, I laugh.  We're at Christmas Mass, I laugh.  Off color joke, I'm laughing!  
  • My hair is my favorite feature. It's pretty and low maintenance.
  • I think I believe in God. I pray every night, but still question Him a lot.
  • I develop girl crushes all the time.
  • I'm still dreaming about being 5'10. I'm almost there at a whopping 5'5.

What are your truths?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Would You Like to Dance Around the World With Me?

Four and a half years I ago I was given this note with a beautiful ring.

Four years ago, today, we shared our first dance as man and wife.

Today I get to dance with the loves of my life.


I couldn't have picked a better dancing partner.  I love you!  Thanks for your love.  Thanks for our birds.  Thanks for holding my hand.

Let's keep dancing!

Your Wife

DMB's "I'll Back You Up":

I remember thinking
I'll go on forever only knowing
I'll see you again
But I know
The touch of you is hard to remember
But like that touch I've known no other

And for sure we have danced in the risk of each other
Would you like to dance around the world with me

I'll be falling all about my own thing
And I know you're the heaviest weight,
When you're not here that's hung around my head

And your lips burn wild
Thrown from the face of a child
And in your eyes
The seeing of the greatest few
Do what you will, always
walk where you like, your steps
Do as you please, I'll back you up

I remember thinking
Sometimes we walk
Sometimes we run away
But I know
No matter how fast we are running
Some how we keep
Somehow we keep up with each other

I'll be falling all about my own thing
And I know you're the heaviest weight
When you're not here that's hung around my head

And your lips burn wild
Thrown from the face of a child
And in your eyes
The seeing of the greatest few
Do what you will, always
Walk where you like, your steps
Do as you please, I'll back you up

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mocha Cheesecake

Did you know that one dessert can change your entire life?

Mocha cheesecake did just that for me.  It was the main actor in the play that is my life.  It was present the moment that I knew I loved Marc.

It was our third official date.  Up to this point I had luke warm feelings for him.  Definitely thought he was cute. Definitely thought he was nice.  I had a good time when I was with him, but there wasn't a strong feeling of liking him.  No spark or butterflies.  Well that's a lie.  I had butterflies on our first date.  But those were nerves.  Which maybe is the same?!

Our third date was at a place named Pizza Bella (no longer there, which breaks my heart).  They sat us at our table, we chatted, we ordered, we had a nice time.  I must add, earlier in the week Marc asked if I wanted to go to dinner and see a movie.  On a MONDAY I told him that I'm usually pretty tired by Friday, so maybe we could do dinner and see if I was still awake enough for a movie. Hilarious!  He thought he was dead in the water at this point.  Anyhoo, the dinner date was going as well as all the other dates.  But like all the other dates, I still wasn't totally invested.

Until the cheesecake.

You know how in the beginning of a relationship you are still nice and considerate?  You know, you're starving for that last breadstick but you let them have it, you really want to watch Bravo but the Mets are on.  You let the other person be happy instead of yourself.  Now I take the food I want and Bravo is always on (when the kids aren't around).  So when looking at the dessert menu I was trying to pick something that I thought Marc would like.  AH! Cheesecake with a mocha flavor to it.  I thought it'd work great.  Well apparently he was doing the same thing! He knew I made cheesecake so he, too, picked the mocha cheesecake.  We were shocked that we both happened to pick the cheesecake, same flavor too!!!

Cheesecake ordered, cheesecake delivered, I take a bite.  He takes a bite.  I take another bite, put down my spoon and say, "I hate cheesecake.  I can't eat anymore.  I only ordered it because I thought you'd like it."

Marc asks, "But don't you make cheesecake?"

I explain that I do but it's only for my family.  I hate it, they love it, I make them cheesecake.

Well Marc and I started busting out laughing!  How in the world did we order the one thing on the menu that both of us HATE!!!  Like, cannot stand it, swallowing one bite was almost the death of me!

Right then and there, with tears rolling down my face, stomach hurting, cheeks hurting, I knew I didn't want to be a part from him for a minute.  I wanted him by my side forever.

Of course I didn't say "I love you" then.  It was just something I knew way deep down in my soul.  We ended up seeing a movie. A romantic comedy titled "Flags of Our Fathers".  There's really nothing like watching a movie about war right after you've figured out you met your life partner!

From this date on we pretty much became inseparable.  Like in that gross "they are always by each other's sides and do everything together" way.  It was awesome!!!

The official "I love you" didn't come for a little while.  It was said in Wilmington, NC. But that story is for another day!

Mocha Cheesecake, I salute you!