Lucky Seven Family

Tag Archives: Love

Happy Easter!!

It’s a gorgeous day in Massachusetts.  I have so much to be thankful for…

I woke up to my daughter taking her new puppy out at 7:30am; this puppy has definitely changed her sleeping habits.  Like a typical teenager, she used to be the kid that had to be dragged unwillingly from bed every morning; excuses galore as to why she shouldn’t have to wake up.  Now, she bounces out of bed after setting her own alarm clock – wow! what a difference a puppy makes!  It was clearly a big decision to decide we should add a puppy to our crazy, fun, blended lives but as a parent, I’ve found that the joy is seeing your children happy is one of the very best feelings I’ve ever enjoyed in life.

As the kids continue to grow and mature, they don’t always want to participate in traditions.  For example, last night, my 16yo son politely nodded off participating in dyeing Easter eggs with us.  Bitter sweet times…

My daughter, however, was a willing participant and we spent an hour together designing.  Although she’s grown out of the actual hunting of Easter eggs, it was a tradition I hope we can maintain as she gets older.  These seemingly “little” things that tie us together.  These things that make us smile.

Happy Easter everyone!  Enjoy every minute! Gratitude!

 

 

Step-Momming — please remember you are the adult!

When my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer, my family was told she had six months to live .  She came home from the hospital and chemotherapy ensued.  Given my parent’s expectations, they identified a home health aid to be available for my mother.  Given her strength, fortitude, and the loving care of her friends and family, Momma defied the odds; she managed the chemotherapy like a champ. Given how well Momma was fighting, after about six months, the home health aid was helping more with household items like laundry and groceries than taking care of Momma’s health needs (so lucky we had some healthy times with her!).  I was 18 years old at the time; a freshman in college.  I took my second semester of my freshman year off to be at home given the prognosis we initially received.  During this time, I was a complete brat (or substitute some other word here) to Lillie Mae, the home health aid.  In all honesty, I was just plain MEAN.  She didn’t do the laundry like my mom did.  She didn’t buy the same brands at the grocery store that my mom did.  So, what did I do – gave her the cold shoulder and talked ugly about her to anyone that would listen, including my mom.

Why I am telling you this?  To get your attention! And…

Because I think this relationship is analogous to the step-mom/step-child relationship in many ways…

Lillie Mae was the target of my anger and frustration.  Any sane person can quickly see though, that Lillie Mae was not whom I was really angry or frustrated with, right? I was angry and frustrated that my mom had cancer! And, that I had no control over what was happening.  Lillie Mae was the easiest target… she was new to our family and I didn’t have a personal relationship with her.

Think about it!  What does a child go through when their parents split up? when someone new shows up in their home?  They are angry, frustrated, and realize they don’t have control over what is happening.  A new person  in the home is the perfect target.  That new person is often the new partner of either parent.  This does not make bad behavior excusable; it still has to be dealt with.  However, I hope this analogy will help you think about HOW you deal with it.  Perhaps your first step will be considering where the child is coming from; their life has been significantly impacted.  Also, I’ll make the point that I was not a five year old when I was so difficult with Lillie Mae; I was 18 years old!  So, this pertains to teenagers as well, maybe even more so.

As the adult in the relationship, we have to put the child’s feelings first. It isn’t easy.  When you aren’t being treated with respect, you get an eye roll, or the cold shoulder, just put yourself in the child’s (or teen’s) shoes and remember that as the new person, you are their easiest target.  Take a deep breath, count to 10, and don’t take it personally.

stepmomwithlove2

Nerissa’s 100th Birthday Celebration

Locanda Cugnanello, Tuscany, Italy — Sunrise

cugnanello-sunset

I just spent a week in Tuscany with Jen Pastiloff at a Manifestation retreat.  Jen is a yogi and beauty hunter (www.jenniferpastiloff.com).  Her retreats are so much more than yoga; they are about creating magic.  Mixing yoga moves in with writing prompts, Jen gently guides us to become vulnerable and release the deep fears, shame, or hatred for ourselves that we carry.  I have attended three of her retreats and they are all different depending on the location, the attendees, and most importantly where your heart and mind are in that time of your life.

Our location in Tuscany was full of ever-changing colors and light.  We were housed in a magnificently renovated farmhouse and nourished by loving staff with Tuscan recipes – fresh-baked croissants filled with homemade marmalade, Tuscan bean soup, focaccia, house-made pasta with fresh porcini mushrooms (“giggle food” as my husband and I refer to it).

To celebrate our time together, the last writing assignment was to “describe your own 100th birthday party celebration:  the location, the party theme, and a speech or toast as well as who speaks to you”.  Each of us stood in the waning light of the day, outside Locanda Cugnanello, and read our tale to all of our new found loves.

We are in Corolla, one of the towns in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  It is October and the night sky comes early in the evening.  The days remain warmly bathed in sunshine and the evenings provide a crisp, clean breeze on our skin.  We’ve gathered at our beach home where we have spent more than 55 years together; celebrating summer vacations, New Year’s Eve, and countless other special days.  Nerissa is surrounded by her 5 children; 2 biological and 3 from her marriage to Russell.  They have all married and have children of their own.  There are also 2 great-grandchildren that run from the house to the ocean to splash in the waves. 

Gathered on the top deck of the house; always Nerissa’s favorite place to read and relish her coffee in the morning and a glass of Vernaccio rosé in the evening.  The celebration starts with a Prosecco and a toast given by the five children:

Alida (Nerissa’s oldest step-daughter):  Nerissa, we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, (laughing) probably because we are both so strong-minded; please know that I love and appreciate everything you taught me about life.

Alex (Nerissa’s oldest child):  Mom, thank you for always believing in me and helping me find a way to follow my passions.

Sam (Nerissa’s step-son):  Thank you for taking interest in me and listening to me.  

Elaina (Nerissa’s daughter; named after Nerissa’s mother Elaine):  You have lived a full life Mim (Elaina’s name for Nerissa since she was 10 years old)! You’ve shared all of yourself and also your mother with us; her snickerdoodle tradition at Christmas will always be carried on.

Cassie (Nerissa’s youngest step-daughter):  Thank you for helping me balance my world by adding a feminine touch to everything, yet always making sure you taught us girls we could do anything.

THANK YOU FOR 100 YEARS OF YOU!! WE LOVE YOU!

100th-bday

 

If My Mom Were…

If my mom were a tree she would be an oak.  She’s strong, beautiful, and healthy.

If my mom were a dessert she would be vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and a cherry.  She’s sweet, classic, but still pleases everybody.

If my mom were a chef she would be Rachel Ray.  She’s amazing, always gets the job done, and very creative.

If my mom were a coffee she would be a grande non-fat no whip mocha.  She’s energetic, sweet and loves Starbucks.

If my mom were a fruit she would be an apple.  She’s healthy, sweet, and bright.

If my mom had 5 kids and a husband named Russell she would be my amazing mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Love, Elaina

My daughter wrote this for me in 2014.  It touches my heart in so many ways. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and step-moms out there!!

 

Blended Family Quotes

For my amazing daughter.  Hearing you sing in the shower brings a smile to my face and happiness to my heart!  Also, to two fabulous step-daughters.  This quote is for the three of you!

braver than you think

Missing you…

As a mother, I hold myself to a very high standard.  I’m lucky that I had a great mom that help instill such a standard; however, as a working mom, I often feel guilty for being away from my kids, my husband, my family.  This quote helps me balance life.  I work to provide for my children.  Ultimately, regardless of where I am, my  most important job is to make sure they know I am with them, behind them, supporting them, and love them!

missing

Blended Family Quotes: Vacation!

“I’m going on vacation. I’ll bring you back a souvenir suitcase. It’ll be full of love, but otherwise appear to be empty.”
― Jarod KintzLove quotes for the ages. And the ageless sages.

Modern, Blended Family Quotes

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
— Walt Whitman

Look for reasons to love and like your family – focus on the positive!!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Well, I’m a couple of days getting to my Mother’s Day post – better late than never!!

The photo I’ve posted is one of my mother.  My brother, sister and I lost our mother to cancer when we were all quite young (I was twenty years old, they were even younger — I still cringe at the thought of both of them being teenagers when she died.  The big sister in me, I guess).  Losing our mother was difficult for all of us; we all dealt with it in incredibly varied ways.  Ultimately, for all three of us, I know our mother instilled in our hearts and souls such incredible strength – that is what has gotten us all through and helped us become the people we are today.

My mom was amazing – she was the class mom, the neighborhood mom, the dance mom, the band mom (and many, many others things – a wonderful wife and a fabulous friend).  She left major shoes to fill; every day I strive to achieve a percentage of what she achieved as a mother.   I love her and miss her every day.

Here’s the Tuesday Tip for the day — Tell your mother you love her everyday! Don’t waste a single day with her!  If you are a mother or a motherly figure to someone, seek to instill your knowledge, strength and love for that person every day – never waste an opportunity to show your love.

Mother’s Day

momma