Thursday, October 11, 2012

Introducing Mr and Mrs Baro

In 2004, I hired this woman called Donna to work for me
I knew I wanted to hire her within the first ten minutes of her interview
By the end of her second interview, I felt like I had known her forever - and I knew all about her sisters, her children, her nieces, her husband, her son's upcoming wedding and her Mum

So Donna came to work with me and over the years has become a pretty important person in my life
She has seen me through some of my happiest times and she has seen me through some pretty tough times
When Donna left the Company, I was devastated
Thankfully, she stayed in my life
And she has never once not been there for me
She's been there for me when I did not even know I needed her

As the years have passed, Donna's family has welcomed my family into their mix

We've been there for cookouts in the backyard, Weddings, baptisms, and sadly a memorial mass
We tried to cheer Donna up when Dawn left for Texas and spent as much time as possible with Donna and Rick when Lucy was born so they would not miss their own grandkids

Donna and her family are some of the warmest and inviting people you will ever meet
They will make you laugh until you pee
They'll make you hoot and holler just to be heard
And they will jump to your defense before the other guy knows what's hit him!
They are just what a family should be: unconditional with their love, fiercely loyal, a little crazy and a whole lot of fun

One of my favorite family members is Courtney - she's Donna's niece (her Mum is Donna's younger sister)

Courtney is, simply put, one of the most genuine people I have ever met
She is loyal, loving, forgiving, accepting and more mature than I could ever dream of being at such a young age
Her wit and humor are formidable
With Courtney, what you see is what you get.....that is my favorite thing about her
She is who she is
She is what she is
And she is proud and confident of that - and even if she's not, the rest of the world would never  know

Courtney has been with Eddie for years - like since high school

Eddie is my second favorite "family" member (another thing I love about Donna's family - if they like you, if they love you, you become their family......)

One time we hired Eddie to do some work for us at my Company - like 5 years ago now -  and we still talk about him and how great it was having him around

He is a hard worker, devoted to Courtney, to her family and to his family
He is the kind of guy you hope your own daughter will one day bring home as you know she will be well cared for a loved as she should be
Eddie is who he is
He is what he is

Together, Eddie and Courtney rival the greatest love story of all (I am of course referring to Tori and Dean......)

This past Saturday night, Sean and I were honored to witness their marriage

Just before the music started Eddie stepped out with his groomsmen and lined up at the front of the Church

As the families and the bridesmaids were walking in, I kept glancing back at Eddie who was craning his neck and trying to see if it was Courtney coming down the aisle yet
Every person who walked down appeared to get a smile and a nod from him
He looked like he wanted to yell at them to hurry up so he could get to the best part
Yet at the same time, he looked at ease, happy, content and as in love as any one person could hope to be

The doors opened and Courtney made her way down the aisle with her Mum

Eddie's face lit up
I think his jaw dropped 

And then when I turned and looked at Courtney, I literally gasped - not only because she looked radiant and gorgeous and prettier than any bride I have ever seen (including myself and as I've said before, I was totally rocking a bedazzled headband)
I gasped because she looked so serene (though inside I'm sure she'd say her nerves were shot)
She was content
She had the biggest smile on her face and,
She was steps away from her happily ever after beginning
Courtney was the picture perfect image of being in love and being loved

And when she and Eddie finally joined hands, the tears slipped down my face because I got to stand there and watch them in front of their families, friends, God and Irene, become Husband and Wife

I don't even know how to put in words what it is honor it is to be part of something that is so special to two people - really this stands true for any wedding I've ever attended

I think it is an amazing and selfless sacrifice to promise yourself to one person for the rest of your life, and the rest of his or her life

I think it takes a lot of courage and pride to stand before family, friends and God and pledge to not only love one another and take care of one another but to grow together, to communicate openly and honestly with one another, to possibly bring children into this world and raise them together...leaving the world a bit brighter than the way it was when you found it....

The Reception was as fun as any family gathering - good food, lots of laughs, music, dancing, glow in the dark necklaces and was just what a reception should be...

Eddie's mother and brother, and Courtney's cousin Alison and her Mum Robin gave four of the best toasts I have ever heard
All four toasts were humorous, heartfelt and honest....just like Courtney and Eddie
And all four toasts made us laugh, made us smile, made us cry and made us realize how special these two young people truly are

Courtney and Eddie:
To you I extend a heartfelt thank you for wanting us, allowing us, inviting us to be a part of your day
I hope the years to come are filled with love and laughs, health and happiness, and family and friends
I hope that your happily ever after is everything you dreamed and hoped it would be

I'll think of you every October 6th and share this Irish Blessing with you as I've shared with others I love, adore, respect and admire:

Happy is the bride that rain falls on
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.

Donna, thank you for becoming my friend, for being my friend and thank you for sharing your family with me, Sean and Lucy
To Donna's whole entire family, thank you for sharing Donna and Rick with us, thank you for accepting us and thank you for reminding me what Family is all about
(Side note and a shout out: Courtney's cousin Dean sang a beautiful rendition of Ava Maria
It made me think of her grandmother Irene who I am sure was not only looking down with love and pride but was also probably telling me to stop fidgeting and the girls in the pew in front of me to stop chewing their gum in Church! Dean, it was beautifully sung.....heartfelt and a great gift for not only the Bride and Groom but this guest as well)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mr and Mrs Edward and Courtney Baro.......and happily ever after

Maria the Mum

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hit me with your best shot

When I picked Lucy up from school Tuesday, Miss Barbara and I were chatting about the latest trend with the kids in the class

The trend?

Not hula hoops
Not Swatches
Not piercings or tattoos
Not even those silly rubber band bracelets that were all the rage a year or so ago

No, the latest trend with the kids is to only have one friend, maybe two, at a time

Like Lucy and I will be talking and she'll say

Jack is my friend, not Justin, just Jack
But Lucy, I'll say, when I picked you up, you were playing with both of them
Yeah but only Jack is my friend, tomorrow Justin can be my friend

Two days later, she'll tell me Mia is her friend and so is Kaia but not Jack and Justin

Barbara was telling me she and Danielle have been talking about this with the kids and in fact today, read a book to the kids about having more than one friend

She was summarizing the story for me and asking the kids, including Lucy, questions about the story coaxing them to tell me what happened

She kept trying to highlight the lessons of having more than one friend but the kids just kept giggling and telling me the brothers were throwing snowballs.....and then they'd start laughing even more and talking all at once trying to tell me what was going on.... but I had no idea what they were even saying as their giggles kept overtaking them

I looked to Miss Barbara for an explanation and with a loving roll of her eyes, she explained at some point in the story, the brothers were throwing snowballs at their sister and that was what the kids took away from the story more than the lesson of having friends (as opposed to A friend)

Barbara said the kids thought it was so funny the brothers were throwing snowballs she was not convinced the kids even remembered anything else about the story.......

Oh the patience these women have with our children!

 I like to reiterate with Lucy what I know she is learning in school, be it numbers, letters, or behaviors, so on the way home, I asked Lucy about the story Miss Barbara read to the class

Lucy, I asked, what did you think of the story Miss Barbara read today, about having more than one friend? Did you like it?

Yeah Mama, it was a good story.....but did you know the brothers threw snowballs at the sister?!?!

They did???

Yeah Mama, that was not nice, to throw snowballs at the sister!

No, it wasn't now tell me again, the bear was hibernating and which friend was sad because she thought bear was her only friend?

Mama! Wait! I just need to know, can you make sure I no have any brothers 'cause I don't want to get hit with any snowballs...and if sisters throw snowballs I don't want any of them either......I'll just have Ziggy Boy......OK Mama?

Uhhh, OK Lucy

Mama! Promise! No brothers and no sisters! I no want to get hit with a snowball! OK Mama?
Who wants to get it with a snowball?

She shakes her head in disgust

Hey Mama?

Yes Lucy

You have a brother?

I do honey, Uncle John

And you have sisters?

I do honey, Auntie Lulu, Auntie Flea, Auntie Lis, Auntie Cheetie and Auntie Mike...Mummy has 5 sisters

Lucy processes this for a minute and finally, with her head cocked to the side and a somehwat sympathetic look on her face says you got hit with a lot of snowballs huh Mama?

I sure did Lucy, I sure did....

Maria the Mum

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Feel Turned Around Today.....

I’ve been walking around since I got dressed this morning feeling a kilter

Like I wasn’t walking right or that something was wrong with my lower body

I’ve been jiggling my legs trying to shake the feeling

Sitting down and flexing my calves to work out any cramp I may have

Even took my shoes off and stretched my feet

I’ve been fussing and fidgeting with my pants thinking maybe I had some static cling

I even sprayed myself down with Static Guard

Just stood up to adjust myself again

Turns out I put my pants on backwards this morning...................