Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Mae!

Today we celebrated Gianna's 3rd birthday. Our princess turned three yesterday! She couldn't wait to have her Dora cake. She loved all her presents with her favorite being her Dora doll that she can take into the bathtub. Three words that best describe our little girl are...funny, animated and LOUD! She enjoys every minute of every day. Gianna is one happy girl! We love you little Mae! Happy birthday!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

Today Dad is 75 years young. We had a great birthday celebration over the weekend with the whole family including Ricky, Chieko and the kids from Florida.

I had so much fun coming up with fun facts for my sister Kim's birthday, I thought I would try it for Dad's 75th. I never thought I would be able to do it but we had so much fun putting this list together. I read this to him at the party.

1. He was born on March 18, 1933.
2. Without question he is the smartest man I know.
3. He is the third of five children.
4. He is the youngest of his brothers.
5. He is the peacemaker in his family.
6. He used to sleep outside on his porch as a kid.
7. He used to share a bedroom with his brothers and one day his brother Bill decided he didn’t like the wallpaper. So one morning he woke to a man in their room stripping the paper off the walls.
8. Some of his jobs as a boy were pumping gas, delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, and working at the downtown drug store soda counter.
9. As a child he served as an alter boy at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Walpole.
10. He and the other alter boys used to go to Nantasket Beach with his mother as a chaperone and his mom would ride the roller coaster.
11. He walked up hill both ways in the snow to and from school.
12. He was the quarterback of his football team his senior year of high school.
13. That same year he led his team to victory at the annual Thanksgiving football game.
14. His best friends today are the same best friends he’s had for many, many years.
15. When he was in high school he and his friends would sing and harmonize together when they were out riding around in the car.
16. For some reason he refers to his brother as “Brother Bill” as if he were a man of the cloth.
17. As we were told time and time again, did you know that he helped put the roof on the gazebo in Walpole Center?
18. He graduated from high school at 16 and did a post graduate course before he went to college.
19. He has his bachelor’s degree from Boston College.
20. He is one very proud BC alumnus.
21. He is a season ticket holder for BC football games.
22. In 1961, he started his own business and R.J. Smith Insurance Agency was born.
23. Dad always tucked us kids in at night so lovingly, tossing us around in the air like sardines, tucking those sheets in so tight that there was no way we could ever fall out of bed, let alone move a muscle.
24. As kids, he used to make us breakfast every Sunday morning with cinnamon toast as his specialty.
25. He was also in charge of giving me baths leaving me in there for hours in cold water as he “listened to the radio” in his bedroom or in other words fell sound asleep on his bed.
26. I’ve been told that when mom was in the hospital having me, the meals consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pancakes and cereal.
27. Still to this day if he is on his own for dinner he will eat cereal.
28. He was always the one that helped with the homework.
29. He taught all of us how to drive a car.
30. As kids, the TV show that really made him belly laugh was “All in the Family” which he would routinely watch after work each night.
31. He used to stay up late to watch Johnny Carson too.
32. One of my favorite memories of Dad as a child was him reading me Nancy Drew books while I snuggled up on his lap.
33. One of my least favorite memories of Dad was him teaching me how to sweep the kitchen floor.
34. When I was a child and stayed home sick from school, he would always bring me home lollipops from Clarks Pharmacy.
35. He enjoys listening to music with one of his favorite songs being “Time to Say Goodbye”.
36. His favorite movie is “Saving Private Ryan”.
37. He once told me he loved “Field of Dreams” too because he wished he could have the chance to play ball with his father again.
38. As an adult, he used to call his mom every night after dinner.
39. Nothing makes him happier than knowing his kids have spent time together.
40. He can give you directions to anywhere.
41. As you drive through some obscure town on some obscure road you will often hear him say, “I’ve been here before”.
42. I’ve learned there is a BIG difference between “cutting” and “mowing” the lawn and many lawn companies hired by Dad over the years were let go for that very reason.
43. He’s a dog lover.
44. He served in the army and was stationed in Germany.
45. His favorite time of the year is summer.
46. He has a green thumb and his house on Nicholas Street had to be one of THE most beautiful yards I have ever seen.
47. The day they came to dig the hole for the pool was probably one of the hardest days of his life.
48. He swears the word “mature” is pronounced “mator”.
49. He has a real thing about “who” and “whom”.
50. He was a real stickler at meals when we were kids but we all grew up with impeccable table manners.
51. He loves wearing loafers.
52. He is blind in one eye and for most it would be a disability but for him it is a nonissue.
53. And no, Laura, he doesn’t have a glass eye.
54. Never wear a baseball cap at the table with he’s around.
55. He used to teach 8th grade CCD.
56. He used to coach a women’s softball team.
57. One of his favorite things to do is sit outside and smoke a cigar at the end of the day.
58. He loves the Sunday paper.
59. He watches Raymond every night.
60. He thinks reality shows are for the birds.
61. He loves to read about the Civil War.
62. He is a history buff.
63. He loves to travel with Ireland and Paris as his favorites.
64. He would go back to Paris in a heartbeat.
65. He had the neatest workbench of anyone I know except when Ricky came over and did his “magic” to the bench.
66. I think Dad’s best birthday party to date was his 60th birthday with Russel on crutches, me stating “I’m so sick” every two seconds, Ricky commentating with the video camera, Bill as the best dressed man at the party, Rose Kennedy in attendance and the story about the house Pricilla bought “right on the water”.
67. Some of Dad’s nicknames are Smitty, Swartz, Uncle Dickie, Papa and Pops.
68. He loves his business.
69. He will never quit working.
70. Sometimes he can be a little forgetful like the times he was supposed to take the trash home with him from the office but rarely remembered to take it. Danny would hear Kathy say, “and there he goes” as he would drive by the office window with the trash still sitting by the door.
71. Lovingly, he has been asked to never do the bookkeeping at the office when he’s on steroids.
72. His body has not been kind to him in recent years but he is a trooper and hardly ever complains.
73. He is a great “Pops” to all his grandchildren.
74. We are all so blessed to have him in our lives.
75. He may be a man of few words but he truly is a man with a golden heart.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


To kill some time early yesterday morning, I took Nicholas and Gianna to Dunkin' Donuts. As we were sitting there eating our muffins and drinking hot chocolate, in walked business men and women all gussied up. In walked these young ladies looking all put together and fresh ready to tackle another day at the office or wherever they were going. And there I my sweat pants, sneakers, hair in a loose pony, exhausted and a little bored. At that exact moment as I was thinking to myself, "I'm feeling very invisible right now" Nicholas turns to me and says, "Mom, you are so beautiful". Exactly what I needed to hear. He snapped me right out of my pity party.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spelling bee

Last night Danny was helping Nicholas with his kindergarten sight words. Bragging moment here...he knows all the sight words and then some so now we are working on spelling them. When Danny came to the word "we" Nicholas spelled "W-i-i". How sad it that!?!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My sister Kim

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Kimmy
Why don’t you read my blog?

Just joking. I know why she doesn't read my blog because she is just too darn busy with her crazy schedule. But just maybe she will read this one. In honor of my fun-loving sister who is forty-seven today, here are forty-seven fun facts about her.

1. Without question she is by far the happiest person I know.
2. I don’t think she has ever met a person in her lifetime that hasn’t liked her.
3. She loves all four seasons but her favorite is the summer.
4. She is a great lover of sports and in fact was quite the athlete herself.
5. She is a devoted Red Sox fan.
6. She has learned to never say these words again..."I'm just going to have a nice relaxing night and sleep in in the morning...".
7. In her twenties, she decided she wanted to play ice hockey so she taught herself to skate and joined a men’s league.
8. She is ultra competitive.
9. She is working on her doctorate…yes I said doctorate…at Boston College.
10. She tells everyone she is getting her doctorate just so I will have to call her “Dr. Smith”.
11. She has her undergraduate degree in music.
12. She can play “Misty” on almost every instrument known to mankind.
13. Her weakness is ice cream…pretty much any kind of ice cream.
14. On Saturday mornings, we used to watch Pee Wee's Playhouse and this really strange show on sign language and can still sign a few things to each other. And sad to say we were in our twenties at the time.
15. She loathes clothes shopping.
16. She introduced her best friend from college to her best friend from high school and they were later married and now live in Hawaii.
17. She is my concert buddy.
18. When we were kids she used to give me twisty-turny noogies.
19. The town where she works dedicated a day to her. Yes…a whole day called “Kim Smith day”. I told you everyone likes her.
20. She once conducted the Boston Pops at the Wang Center in Boston.
21. She went from the Director of Music one year to Vice Principal of her high school the next.
22. She has had her share of “Mary Tyler Moore” days.
23. Years ago on the first night alone in her new studio apartment there was almost a shoot out with police on her front lawn.
24. She played the clarinet growing up but decided in high school that it would be “fun” to learn how to play the trumpet. So of course she taught herself and played in the award winning jazz band.
25. She was student conductor of her high school and college marching bands.
26. She married her best friend Paula last year.
27. Kimmy and Paula bought this old house in Maine and over the years have restored it into this amazingly beautiful vacation get-away.
28. They both love boggie boarding in Maine and do this well after the summer is over. Brrrr....
29. She is the second of four siblings.
30. She is the peace-maker of the bunch.
31. Her favorite holidays are Christmas and 4th of July.
32. One of my favorite expressions of hers is “what next!” when something exciting is happening.
33. She “hearts” AJ from the Backstreet Boys. (I “heart” Howie.)
34. She has never had a cavity.
35. She had a lot of boyfriends in high school and I had crushes on practically all of them.
36. She’s a great auntie.
37. She has learned to cook recently thanks to Real Simple magazine.
38. She has no idea who most celebrities are because she is simply not interested.
39. Hand her a microphone in front of a crowd and she feels right at home.
40. She loves a cold beer with some nachos after a long day at the beach.
41. When she’s tired, she’s tired and can fall asleep anywhere.
42. My nickname for her is Skimmy Kimmy.
43. Her dog, Brandy boots, is her child.
44. She has great love and affection for each and every one of her students, past and present, at her high school.
45. Her students, past and present, have great love and affection for her in return.
46. She has a heart of gold.
47. Now go back and read number one again because it is the truth.