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Happy Birthday Son!

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As you may have realized, our family celebrates a lot of birthdays this time of year.

Today we celebrated our son Mike’s birthday. He is the oldest of our two sons. He is a kind soul, an awesome son, husband and father.

Mike was born on Holy Thursday 38 years ago. His birth was truly a miracle for his Dad and I. We had a difficult time conceiving him. One day after confiding to my Mom, she suggested I begin a Novena to St. Theresa. She told me that if my prayer was to be answered I would receive a rose.

I began the Novena several days later. I told no one about it, not even my husband. A short time after I completed the Novena, a young girl whom neither my husband nor I knew came skipping down our sidewalk. She had a rose in her hand and tossed it in our yard. My husband picked up the rose and brought it to me. He asked me if I knew who the girl was. We hadn’t recognized her as being one of the neighborhood children.

A few weeks later we learned that we were expecting! It was a joyous but scary time. Being pregnant thirty-eight years ago with diabetes was a little complicated. I had several hospital visits due to highs and lows. Fortunately I was blessed with great doctors who followed me closely and were proactive with my care.

Six weeks prior to my May due date, I was admitted back into the hospital. It was getting harder to control my blood sugar. The c-section was scheduled the day after I was admitted. We had a healthy baby boy and I suffered no further complications.

The fact that our son was born during Holy Week spoke volumes to me. I still pray to St. Theresa every day. Our son was a gift from God and a true blessing to us. He was the start of our beautiful family. Happy Birthday Son!

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Happy Birthday Miss Emma!

Tomorrow our grand daughter Emma will be celebrating her 10th birthday! She is the oldest of our five grandchildren.

She lives ten hours away from us by car and and two hours by plane. But we are lucky to be able to make frequent visits out there. We talk by phone several times a week and she fills us in on what’s going on in her life.

I can still remember the night she was born. We had our bags packed for days so we would be ready to leave at a moments notice. Our son called us around 10PM on April 8, 2004. He told this was it! Our daughter-in-law Jen was in labor.

I called our son Mike who lives nearby to let him know we were on our way. My husband and I packed a few last minute items and we were on our way. We drove through the night. We only stopped for gas and a few coffee breaks.

Our son Brian called us frequently with status updates. Around 3AM he called us to let us know his daughter had arrived. She and her Mom were doing fine. I could hear the happiness in his voice.

We arrived around 8AM that morning. When I held her in my arms for the first time , it made me realize what a wonderful life this is. She was so perfect.

She is a smart, beautiful young lady. She is full of love, laughter and kindness.

Happy Birthday sweet Emma. Always stay as sweet as you are! Pop Pop and I love you very much!

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Zoey’s 2nd Birthday!

The meaning of the name Zoey is: Life.

Our beautiful granddaughter Zoey celebrated her 2nd birthday yesterday. Her name suits her. She is full of life.

Her giggles make you smile. When she wraps her little fingers around your hand it melts your heart. She is beginning to use her words more and more each day. It is so much fun watching her try to imitate her big brother.

She will get anything she wants from her Dad and Pop Pop in the coming years. That tilt of her head and little grin will serve her well.

As I watch her grow it makes me appreciate how precious and beautiful life is. We are truly blessed to have this little girl in our lives. Happy Birthday Zoey!

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Our Greatest Gifts

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Shortly after our youngest son got married ten years ago, he called one day. He lives out-of-state and since he is a police officer, when he calls it makes me a little nervous.

This particular day when he called we chatted about the usual things, such as the weather and what he had been doing. At the end of the conversation he said, “Mom, I think you better sit down.” I was panicked, I thought for sure something bad had happened to him. I sat on the side of my bed with my heart in my throat. Then he said, “Jen and I are expecting a baby!” I started jumping around like a crazy person and tears were rolling down my eyes. I yelled to my husband the good news. Then my son said, “You’re not upset?” Why on earth would I be upset I asked. He said, “We’ve only been married a few months.” I said, “What difference does that make?” He said, “We don’t have a lot of money, we just got married.” I said, “If you wait until you have enough money, you may wait your whole life. It will all work out.”

It did work out of course. They have a beautiful daughter and have since added twins to the mix a year and a half ago.

We just learned several weeks ago that our oldest son and his wife are now expecting their third child. It just never gets old. Knowing that you are going to be welcoming another baby into the family is one of God’s greatest blessings.

Overall this is the fifth time we’ve been given the news of a new baby joining our family and it is as exciting this time as it was the first.

My husband and I have been so blessed. We may not be rich in fortune, but we are rich in having a loving family.

This Christmas our greatest gifts won’t be the boxes under the tree, but the family that sits around the tree. That is truly our greatest gift.

Merry Christmas!

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“I Love You”

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Three simple words that can melt your heart, “I love you.”

This time of year we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that we often forget why we do all this in the first place. Of course we do it to celebrate the birth of Jesus and our love for him, but also to show our family and friends how much we love and care about them.

The other night I talked to my oldest granddaughter on the phone. We laughed and shared stories. Before we hung up she said, “Nana, I love you.” I didn’t have to buy her anything.

Last night I had dinner at my son and daughter-in-laws home. My little grandson asked me to sit beside him at the table. While sitting there he leaned his head on my shoulder and said, “I love you Nana!” Again, I didn’t have to buy him anything.

I think the greatest gift we can give anyone is our time. Especially children and our elderly parents. It means more than any gift we can buy, and the memories it creates last forever.

So, don’t wear yourself out this holiday season. Spend more time with your family and friends than you do at the mall. The gift you get back will be heartwarming.