The internet is a funny thing.  I know there are a million and one articles out their all over face book about parents and kids being too distracted… about the negative side effects of being on facebook and blogging… and well, this is not one of them.  Nor is this going to be an article in defense of face book or blogging.  Truthfully, like just about EVERY SINGLE OTHER MAJOR ISSUE plaguing Momma’s these days, I kinda think moderation is the key… and I also really don’t enjoy debating… so I just kinda stay out of it.

However, one thing is most certain… I would not have some of the friendships I have today if it wasn’t for face book and blogging and the internet.  Case in point would be my dear friend Sarah.

I can remember years ago when I first took the plunge and made myself a profile on that thing called facebook… like most trends (ie… maxi skirts and Spotify) I was late jumping on to the bandwagon… and I was cautious at first.  I remember making my profile and then searching for friends… friends from high school and college… before too long facebook was suggesting friends for me… and one thing led to another and some how I stumbled across Sarah’s facebook account and then her blog. 

I went to Towson University for one year.  Looking back, it was a difficult year for me.  It was my first year of college and half way through the year, my parents moved to a different state.   It was a year of transitions, sooo many transitions.  I was blessed to get plugged in right away with a Campus Ministry group called RUF.  RUF was a life line for me that year, as I made friends, good solid Christian friends… friends to pray with and run with and go down and eat meals with.  One such friend was Sarah… I was in a Bible study with her and I was prayer partners with her very good friend Lauren.   I remember hanging out in her room and in groups with all of them. 

At the end of the year, my in state tuition had moved to PA and so I too transferred to another school in PA.  (and shortly after that,  yet ANOTHER school… but that is another story for another day)…. bottom line is until 2008, I hadn’t really heard from or talked to Sarah… and then boom I found her blog and I was like, “Oh my goodness, our lives are soooo similar… I LOVE HER…. I wish she lived next door!”  But, she lived in Michigan… we began commenting on each others blogs and facebook posts and suddenly I felt like I knew her whole family quite well. 

Years go by and we end up getting our crew of littles together for lunch at Chick-Fil-A when she was in the area one time… then we started getting together yearly with some other Towson RUF gals over Thanksgiving… and our friendship grew… I was and am still amazed that they include me in this get together, because they spent 4 years together, but I really was only with them for one. 

I often laughed at how we were now texting, and sharing recipes, and reading about each others kids and husbands… marveling at this connection that NEVER would have happened without the internet…. and then Sarah invited my circus crew to her house for a weekend…

I remember asking Scott if he wanted to go to Sarah’s for the weekend… “Hey honey, ya know my friend Sarah, from Towson and blogging… well I know you’ve only met her once but wanna go spend the weekend with her and her family… I know you will get along so well with her husband.” 

Ok… if that situation had been reversed, I would NOT have been game AT ALL… but Scott is not me and he said, “Sure!” 

Sarah and I always had a feeling that our families would click… we knew enough about each other that we just felt like they would gel… but as the date got closer and then we were driving down, there was a part of me that though, “uh-oh… what if we don’t click?”  I remember Scott saying, “So what is it that makes you think Jason and I will get along?”  And I’m all like, “Well, ya know you both love your wives and your family and your both just great guys, you love the Lord and football, and just you’re a lot a like.”


What a great response… as if that meant they would click instantly.

But, they did. 

Everyone got along beautifully… truthfully, BETTER than I even thought they would… shorts6

We had an amazing weekend… Sarah and I looked over at each other at the pool on Sat and went, “Oh my goodness it worked!… Even better than we hoped.” shorts7

It was so relaxing and refreshing… they are so real… that is what I have loved about Sarah through the years… what you see is what you get… no pretenses… she is that girl you read on her blog… in real life…

I loved watching the kiddos play together… seeing their personalities mesh… and the grownups? We sat up talking till way past midnight.. laughing so hard we were crying…. it felt like we had known them for years even though really Scott and Jason just met that weekend.  shorts1

It was an amazing weekend and I am so glad Sarah took a risk and invited us and so glad we took a risk and went… and I am so so so glad for this thing called facebook and blogging and the internet… that connects people in a way unlike any other… I can’t wait to do it again!  Thanks Sarah and Jason!

My 7 year old recently lost one of her top middle teeth.  Those top middle teeth are my favorites, when they fall out because I find that gap tooth smile to be quite adorable.


I’ve pondered the gap tooth smile recently, and realize that they truly illustrate growing up.  That stage of life when you lose your baby teeth, but yet aren’t quite ready for the grown up teeth.  It leaves gaps.  Holes that need to be grown into and filled.  This of course takes time, as growing up does and so you often find yourself with gaps…you aren’t a baby, but your not an adult… you don’t have all you need yet… these stages can be cute, and frustrating… and sometimes they seem to be filled in the blink of an eye and other times, as a parent you wonder if those gaps will ever fill…. 


While I only have one child right now with a gap tooth smile, I have several that are living in the gaps of growing up…. and I know that while their smiles don’t provide that visible reminder that they aren’t there yet, their actions, and attitudes and emotions do… and I try to remind myself to savor those gaps, to find the precious innocence in them and to gently guide them  to that next stage in growing up.


IMG_5406It’s hard enough not living in the home town of your favorite sports team.  Even harder than that, is living in the town of the ARCH RIVAL of your favorite sports team. 

One way that I think we as a family have connected and stayed connected with our Steelers roots, is by making the trek to training camp as often as possible.  We missed the last two years, but we went often enough over the past 10 years that the big 3 all remember going and talk about going and consider it a tradition.

This year we were ALL itching to go back. 


I had been wanting to go to the Friday Night Lights practice and this year we were able to make that work.  This practice is held a high school near their training camp, on, you guessed it, Friday Night.  We met my parents there.  We got there early enough for the kids to play some games and even get their faces decorated.  We also tailgated out of the back of my parents van before heading into the stadium.


Then we stood in line for quite awhile to wait for the chance of autographs.  We learned some things from this process that we would do different next year… but all 3 of the big kids were happy to walk away with a few autographs and big huge smiles on their faces.


My favorite part is how close we get to get to the players.  They are right in front of you… Those same players we watch week after week on the TV are literally feet in front of us. 



After practice we stood by the buses and a few guys even slapped us five as they got onto their bus.  Then we watched them drive off, with fireworks going off behind them and all of us cheering them on as loud as we could.


It was a long day… we drove there and back in one day…. We left our house at 10 am and pulled into our driveway at 2:30am.   The next morning, I walked out into the hall and saw my 10 year old sitting there staring at his autographs… a little while later our 4 year came into my room still wearing the “Steelers beads” he had gotten the night before and he recounted all the fun things we did with the Steelers… then my 8 year old walked in and said in complete seriousness, “So Mom, do we know yet if Palamalu made the team?”  (We had told the kids that training camp is when the players do their best to show their coaches they want to be on the team.  We stressed that training camp is when we find out who will be on the team).  I loved her innocence, as she asked if her favorite player made the team.  And I loved the smile of relief when I told her, “Yea, Palamalu made the team.”   It was that next morning, listening to the kids talk about the day and “their players” and making plans for where they’d stand next year for autographs, it was then that I knew… it was worth every mile and the late, late drive home… because these are the memories, these are the connections, that make the Steelers more than their parents and grandparents team, these are the connections that make them their team too.  And I think because we live in Baltimore, we all appreciate every moment in Steelers Country all the more.

training camp 2014