Scandalous Story of Love: Jobs, Kids, and Automobiles

Junior year came to a close in the spring of ’94.

Duff and I planned to spend the summer in Boston subletting an apartment with a few friends from school.*

We found the perfect second floor apartment, near the intersection of Commonwealth Ave. and Harvard Ave., and moved right on in.

I secured a job at the Pizzeria Uno Restaurant right across the street and began my waitress training.

[Read more...]

Journey into Faith

When I was pregnant with Gabrielle…

I never asked for an infant with a brain malformation who would begin seizing at the age of 6 months.

I never expressed a desire for a baby who would undergo 5 brain surgeries before the ripe old age of 3 years.

I never requested a child with hemiplegia and developmental delays.

I did not sign up for a kid who would require daily medications, exercises, and orthotic devices.

I prayed for a perfectly healthy baby, as I had so many times before; a rosy-cheeked infant with a hearty cry, who would thrive and develop normally.

[Read more...]

Too Much Adventure for Me!!

View 2

There was still much to be done before we could retire for the night, and all of it needed to be accomplished with one good flashlight and four mediocre ones.

(I’m kicking myself at this point for not investing in a lantern.)

First of all the food needed to be transported back to the van…

and we needed to convince two little girls to relieve themselves in the forest or inside the dark, foul-smelling outhouse.

I convinced 1 out of 2 to pee in the leaves and the other insisted she didn’t need to go.

I took her word for it.

[Read more...]

A Birthday Adventure


We were brainstorming ways to celebrate our eldest son Gavin’s 11th birthday.

Over the last couple of years we’ve been changing our focus to giving the gift of an experience, rather than buying more stuff.

I might have been the one who mentioned camping as a possible option.

Gavin immediately seemed intrigued by the idea, and we googled feasible destinations.

He decided  Hanging Rock State Park might be a neat place to visit for the weekend.  I made an online reservation and added it to the calendar.

[Read more...]

“Cheese” and Spicy Chicken

So tonight we went to Portrait Innovations for a family photo shoot.  It had been almost 3 years since our last attempt at capturing the entire crew.

Let me tell you, it is no small feat getting 7 little people dressed, groomed, and transported to the picture place, all the while keeping one’s hair neatly placed, mascara unsmeared, and perspiration to a minimum. ;)

I left the studio completely exhausted.  But it was nothing a Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich couldn’t cure.

And the pics… they turned out well enough that we spent more than the $14.99 I planned on.

Oh yes, I did a great deal of rationalizing…

I mean saying “no” to the couple shot is like saying “no” to your spouse, right?

[Read more...]

Gabrielle Faith O’Melia

Gabrielle Faith O'Melia

I collapsed onto my side of the master bed, exhaustion and nausea had taken their toll. It was early evening and the kids had all been scooted off to bed. I leaned against the soft pillows at my back wondering if he would eventually notice the changes, and guess the cause.

I studied his face for any indication that he might be puzzled by my pallor, fatigue, and constant hunger. He was clueless.

I had been feeling this way for several days but just wasn’t ready to speak the words.

Oh forget it, I thought, we can’t go on like this forever.

“I don’t think I can do this!” I blurted out through the tears.

[Read more...]

Happy 16th Anniversary

Mr. and Mrs. Christian O'Melia October 12, 1996

21 years ago I met a man who drove me absolutely crazy in the worst way imaginable.

He annoyed me…and I aggravated him.

He was my complete opposite, everything that I wasn’t.

The only thing we had between us were differences, lots and lots of differences.

But you know what they say about opposites…

And as time passed, we began to appreciate the differences.

[Read more...]

Meatloaf: The Recipe for a Happy Marriage

The house was spotless and the fridge, fully-stocked.  We (the 7 kids and I) had spent all morning cleaning house and food shopping.

I scarcely had enough time to put the the groceries away, before little tummies were growling for lunch.

I fed the kids something quite nutritious for their afternoon meal, got the little ones down for a nap, and restored the kitchen to order.

It was Friday afternoon, and I needed to skedaddle out the door, to go horseback riding with my son Luke.

[Read more...]

Don’t You Know What Causes That?! (How We Ended Up with 7 Kids)

Almost every time I go out somewhere with my children, I get asked the questions…

Are they all yours?!


How many do you have?!


Don’t you know what causes that?!

Sometimes people just stare in disbelief…

or I see them counting the “stair-steps” as we pass on by.

Regardless, we always seem to get some kind of reaction.  And honestly, I find it quite entertaining.

[Read more...]

A Medicine Cabinet

Do me a favor, won’t you?

Go open up the door to your medicine cabinet and tell me what you see.

Does it house Tylenol and Motrin?

Some cold remedies?


Perhaps some Benadryl or allergy medicine?

Maybe some basic first-aid supplies?

For many years I had an ordinary medicine cabinet, half-filled with common household remedies.

[Read more...]