A Letter to My Teenage Son

A Letter To My Teenage Son

Dear NHL,

Happy 13th birthday NHL! Please hold for a moment while I scream. You see, today is a huge milestone for our entire family. You are officially 13 years old and a teen. No more preteen garbage, it’s all or nothing kiddo. This also means that Dad and I are now the parents of a teenager.

How did this happen?

It honestly feels like a blur and is hard to believe that my first born is now 13 years old. I swear it seems like yesterday when I was:

  • changing a million of your diapers.
  • picking out cute baby outfits for you to wear.
  • sitting on the floor with you for tummy time.
  • watching your eyes light up as you spoke to us for the first time.
  • singing and dancing with you and The Wiggles.
  • getting you ready to head to daycare which broke my heart.
  • driving you with a box of donuts to visit Poppy Sol.
  • clapping my hands when you walked on your own.
  • preparing you to become a big brother.
  • crying on your first day of school.
  • listening to you read me your first book.
  • watching your love of learning grow more and more each day.
  • chasing you from one Disney character to another for an autograph and photo.
  • hugging you tight as we left one school to try another.
  • listening to you play percussion for the first time.
  • talking to you about neurodiversity and what it means.
  • attending your first band concert.
  • taking you to visit the middle school.
  • going to school to watch you during the honor roll ceremonies.

There are so many other moments and memories that we have shared in the last thirteen years. I never would have imagined how your birth could change my world. I am so thankful that you are my son and part of my life. Each day you continue to amaze me with your kind soul, amazing insight, and quick ability to learn and retain new things. While we may not see eye to eye every day, I know this is just a phase of our relationship that goes with the teen years. This will pass and one day we will look back and laugh at it.

It still floors me that you can look me right in the eyes. In a few months, I will likely be looking up to speak to you. We are weeks away from your Bar MItzvah. Through all of the preparations you have been amazing. You have rarely complained about anything and done what needs to be accomplished to get ready for your big day. I know it hasn’t been easy to go to Hebrew School, lessons, and more over the last few years. You followed through with this like a champion and I can’t wait to see you up on the bimah sharing this with all of our family and friends.

Two short years ago, we celebrated your 11th birthday and were anxious about middle school. You went into the building and showed us how to get it done. You set goals for yourself and never stopped once you reached them. Gold Honor roll was important, along with honors classes, and making All City Band. After Labor Day you will begin 8th grade with all honors courses, including two 9th grade Regents classes. It’s going to be a busy year, but I know you will get it done and make all of us proud of your hard work.

While I know the teen years can be difficult, I hope that you know Dad and I are here for you. We will be cheering you on from behind the scenes and ready to help if/when you need us. As always remember to Just Keep Swimming toward any goals you set. Anything is possible and don’t let anyone ever tell you something different.



Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Don’t Forget Protection

#VZWBuzz Disclosure

No really, don’t forget protection for your smartphone. Protecting my phone has always been a priority. My smartphone is an extension of me. It keeps me connected for emergencies, allows me to get work done while mobile, and gives me a way to record memories. As soon as I get a new phone, I immediately purchase a good case to put it in.

When I received my Samsung Galaxy Note 5, I went to check out my options. This time I went into my local Verizon Wireless store knowing that I wanted a less bulky case. The gentleman at the store suggested pairing the new case up with a tempered glass screen for added protection. More specifically, he told me to get the Invisible Shield Glass by ZAGG.

Confession: I whined a lot about the cost of this screen protector. In the end, I bought it and felt guilty about the money.

Fast forward many months.

Cracked smartphone screen

My phone dropped off a counter. I was relieved to see that it seemed fine. Several hours later, my heart skipped a beat. My precious Note 5 had a small visible crack. After I stopped and calmed down, I noticed something on the phone. I could actually see what I thought was a shadow under the tempered glass. Perhaps my phone was fine underneath it. I didn’t check at home and took my phone back to Verizon. The plan was to get a new glass screen cover for my phone. The gentleman at the store took my cover off the phone and the Note 5 looked brand new underneath. Of course, pulling it off made the crack that you see in the photo above even more pronounced.

What happened next made me beyond happy. I did not have to purchase a new ZAGG Invisible Shield Glass. Why? The one I bought is warrantied. If it cracks, ZAGG will send you a new one for the cost of shipping. All I had to do was go onto their website and register my glass to have a new one sent.

There were a few glitches on the ZAGG website, so I called them. Their customer service was truly amazing. I quickly had everything set so a new Invisible Shield Glass would be shipped. I simply have to send the old one back. The best part is that IF this happens again while I own the Note 5, it is covered since I have it registered.

Protect your smartphone screen

The moral of my story, protect your phone properly and you will not be sorry. I am SO glad that I listened while shopping months ago and purchased the ZAGG product. Had I ignored that, my Note 5 may have had a very different fate on the day of the fall. Now I can breathe and use my phone to capture more memories like the ones below.

Making summer memories

It's Me
: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive cool goodies like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to test out and share ways that I use them in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Birthday Wishes for TechyDad

Dear TechyDad,

No words will ever be able to express how I feel about you. I am so thankful that you came into my life back in 1999. Who would have imagined that all these years later we would be married and have an almost teenager? Thank you for being you and always being there for the kids and me. I now know that you will climb a tree to get us the best cherries…

TechyDad in a tree

and you will hold me close as I cry over stresses from the educational world and beyond. You always support my crazy shenanigans and cheer me on no matter what.

TechyDad and Moi

Thank you for being the geek of my dreams. I look forward to growing older with you by my side and making more memories as a family and duo.


Your Angel Forever

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Lovely LuLaRoe

A little over a year ago, I was looking for clothing to take on our cruise. I wanted things that would pack easy and dress up or down depending on my needs. Most important of all, they had to be comfortable. Another direct sales friend of mine mentioned LuLaRoe maxi skirts. As a vertically challenged individual, long skirts are more difficult for me to find. I took a chance and tried a skirt. I fell in love with the soft skirt and quickly bought a second one for our travels since I noticed they really didn’t wrinkle.


LuLaRoe offers a variety of styles in skirts, shirts, dresses, and the ever popular leggings for women. In addition to this, they are constantly adding new options for children and men. Looking for just the right piece to purchase next is like a sport. There are so many cute patterns and fantastic solids available that you can mix and match for any occasion. Of course, the beauty of LuLaRoe is that there is a limited amount of each design used. That means that LuLa Lovelies are constantly looking for their unicorn.


Shortly before we left for our trip, I found a local LuLaRoe consultant. Rivkah is an amazing woman and met with me to try on several skirts to determine what size would work best for me. I need to meet with her again to tackle more shirt styles, along with the gorgeous dress options. When we returned from our trip, I kept debating what to do about the famous Buttery leggings. My bottom half is a lot smaller than my top so I knew they would fit, but would I actually like and wear them. The answer is YES! I bought my first pair, fell in love, and quickly bought another pair with a matching Irma top to go with it. Guess what? They are cute, comfy, and I am getting enough courage to wear them out and about. I warn you, you will adore them and want more!

LuLaRoe Designs


Thanks to Rivkah, I am hosting a LuLaRoe online party. It will be a lot of fun and many goodies available. The best part is you don’t have to be local and can shop at home in your pajamas. There may even be some surprises if you stop by. Let me know if you need an invite, but you can head to Rivkah’s Facebook page here. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. LuLaRoe is available in XXS to 3X and looks great on all shapes and sizes.

LuLaRoe Pop Up

What do you want to check out? Will you fall head over heels in love with the butter leggings, a skirt (Maxi, Azure, Madison, Cassie…),  dress (Nicole, Amelia, Julia…), a top (Irma, Perfect…), or something else?

It's Me

DisclosureThe photo at the top is my LuLaRoe purchases from the past. From left to right, I have an Irma top on with an Azure skirt, Tall & Curvy Leggings, and a Maxi skirt. I am hosting this online party for LuLaRoe to share my love of the product, help a friend, and earn some goodies!

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Memories With Big Red

Thirteen years ago, I was very pregnant with my oldest son. TechyDad and I decided that it was time for a family vehicle. We traded in my Chrysler Neon that had been with me through college. My little red adventure mobile had traveled all over with me, including to meet TechyDad. We had to trade the car in because we needed something that was larger for baby cargo and our growing family.

Memories with Big Red

About a month before NHL was born, Big Red came home with us. Yes, my red Town & Country minivan would be there for so many milestones in our life. We brought NHL home from the hospital in her. We went to visit family near and far with her. Big Red also allowed us to travel with extended family thanks to more seating. Big Red helped us to move from an apartment into our home. She also helped us to experience our first road trip and family vacation to friends near Sesame Place.

Big Red also saved our lives in the summer of 2006. We were t-boned by another car making an illegal turn. Big Red was pushed across at least six lanes. While up on two wheels, Big Red did not tip over and we stopped 180 degrees on the far side of the giant roadway. NHL and Nana were with us that day. Big Red was fixed and looked good as new after some time away.

The following year, JSL came into our world and completed our family. Big Red would often transport a sleeping baby to and from school to pick up big brother. We continued to travel with the van and our two young boys. As the kids got bigger, and gas got more expensive, we used the more fuel efficient car. Big Red stayed home a little more, but we still loved her. She let us haul extra kids to after school activities and more.

Three years ago, we did a major repair on Big Red. We knew that would be the last time. After this, it would not make sense to put money into her. Aside from brakes, wipers, and several tires she kept up on her end of the bargain taking the kids to and from school.

Last week, Big Red went in for her inspection. The news was not good for my big red adventure mobile. A major repair would mean the end of the road for us.

It may seen silly, but over time you get attached to your vehicles and the special moments in them. Call me sentimental, but after thirteen years together Big Red’s a constant that has always been there for our family. I recall picking her out and being so happy for another red car. I also remember dashing to the hospital in Big Red when my water broke for each of the kids. TechyDad and I laughed hysterically as I tried not to make a mess in the car . Drives to first days of school for the boys, going to work in my own classroom, and more were all with Big Red.

 Goodbye Big Red

Handing over the keys is going to be hard, but I know it’s the right thing. Now I need to come up with a name for my soon to be new car. We will certainly have many memories to add together.

It's Me

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+