How Do You Measure Happiness?

The World

I have been struggling here lately with how I measure happiness. I look around through the eyes of the world and very quickly see everything that’s lacking.

I want the spacious, immaculate house with eye-catching colors and designs, gorgeous furniture, built-ins, and perfectly organized closets.

I want yummy, healthy meals that effortlessly appear on the table at dinner time.

I want orderly days without chaos, when everything falls neatly into place and my check-list is completed without fail.

I want always obedient children who are never mischievous, difficult, or defiant.

The world says I need less cellulite, cuter outfits, and more accessories.

The world says my hubby deserves a newer car, a handsome wardrobe, and a neatly landscaped yard.

[Read more...]

Makinley’s 5th Birthday

My Little Tinkerbell

Sometimes the simplest of birthday parties are really the most fun.

There’s no timeline.

No stress.

The birthday girl comes first.

And she can run the show. [Read more...]

Logan’s Story

Logan 18 months

It was the summer of 2010.

Our youngest was 20 months old.

She still wore diapers and used a paci.

But she was quite precocious and every bit the little mama in all her other ways.

Gabrielle had just reached her 18 month seizure-free mark and had recently completed the potty training process.

Little Mama

We were open to having more babies, finding it difficult to question God’s sovereignty after all he had brought us through with our sweet Gabrielle.

But as time passed on… I began to wonder if I would ever find myself pregnant with another bambino. [Read more...]

A Couple’s Weekend

Couple Time

When our children were younger and we needed some ‘us’ time…

we would simply wear them out, feed them an early dinner, and scoot them off to bed.

We affectionately called this ‘Flex Time’ and it was oh so rejuvenating for us and our relationship.

As our children have grown and multiplied in number…

bedtimes have grown later, responsibilities have increased,  parenting has become more complicated, and wake-up calls remain early.

There is very little alone time and it seems more necessary now, than ever before.

It’s nearly impossible to have an uninterrupted conversation in our home, never mind one not intended for little ears.

The work is never done.

A new problem is always on the horizon.

And life just keeps getting busier.

It’s easy peasy to place our marriage on the back-burner and forget about it in the name of sacrifice.

But what exactly would we be sacrificing as time ticks away?

[Read more...]

Bless This House Day

Bless this House


One day, quite a number of years ago, my dear friend Julie opened my eyes to a truth which I had lived out for forever but never plainly understood.

Chaos drains my energy.

Cluttered rooms, fingerprint-covered windows, piles of dirty laundry, Legos strewn across the floor, a sink filled with dirty dishes, sticky messes, crushed Cheerios underfoot…

they unravel me and cause me great unhappiness.

I know what you’re thinking…

But you have seven children?! [Read more...]

My Oxygen




I set my alarm for 5:15AM.


It sounds so early.


I allow myself one snooze before I have to get out of bed.


Okay, I confess…on really bad mornings, I sneak in two.


I pull my hair into a messy ponytail.  Grabbing socks and sneakers, I sleepwalk my way downstairs into the kitchen.

I boldly grind freshly roasted beans at 5:30AM.  (It’s what my life looks like being married to a recently, self-professed coffee snob.)

The aroma immediately jumpstarts my brain.

I pour half-and-half into a large mug, turning strong-black-liquid perfectly golden with the stirring of a spoon.

I indulge in my first sip. [Read more...]




I guess it all started with piles.  Lots and lots of piles.

Piles of laundry.

Piles of paperwork.

Piles of responsibilities.

Piles growing exponentially before my eyes with no end in sight.


My middle name was fast becoming ‘Overwhelmed’.

I never had a chunk of time coming my way…

to organize, plan, create, or accomplish anything.

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Cuzipalooza 2013- These are the Days

Me and Mimi


The O’Melia family bus arrived in Connecticut after a beautifully uneventful ride of only 90 minutes.


I relished it.


This is when I do my best rejuvenating…in a quiet car.

If a hot caffeinated beverage happens to be in my cup holder…even better.

Silent car rides are probably one of the number one reasons I’ve survived the last 14 years and lived to tell about it.

Now you know another fascinating fact about this mom of seven. ;)

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Cuzipalooza 2013

Crazy Kids


For the first time ever I was conveniently gone at a hair appointment while the van was being loaded and house closed down for our week-long trip North.


I was a little nervous.


You know…about what I might come home to. ;)


But it worked out soooo very nicely, this most unfortunate timing, that I might just plan it that way again in the future. :)


Duff and the kids carried some serious cheese while I was being pampered.


Wow, that just sounds so wrong…and yet I find myself getting use to the idea. ;)

[Read more...]

It’s What Moms Do

My Mom, sister, and me

When you have a mom who is present,

and loving,

and invested,

and dedicated….

it’s easy to take her for granted.

  [Read more...]