He Didn’t Cry (Time To Get Your Flu Shot! Sponsored)

It was time, I knew it was coming and so I held my breath and put clothes out on the bed and pretended we were just going to the grocery store. (Instead of going to get our flu shots.)

We were just  easing into the month of October and already I’d overheard other parents’ low chatter about fevers, viruses and need for doctor’s appointments. I wasn’t taking any chances even if I was met with resistance and crocodile tears.

It can be said that I can be a bit of a pushover but I’m also a mama and I still remember the last time that when we opted to skip the flu shot our entire family got the flu. So every year since we get to the end of summer, I buy new backpacks and wait for the right time to tell my sons they’ll have to endure barely one second of pain in order to make sure we don’t have to use our PTO days as sick days because the flu is a lousy way to spend a couple days off.

What IS the flu? The flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. It can develop very quickly and with the flu, you almost always have a fever. Other common symptoms include headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy or runny nose and muscle aches. No fun!

When is “flu season?” Flu season does not necessarily have a specific start and end date. The timing, severity and length of the annual flu season vary, but outbreaks can begin as early as October, and has a tendency of peaking around January.

We made our way to the CVS MINUTE CLINIC closest to our house. I don’t know if you’ve tried the Minute Clinic yet for your health needs but I love it. It’s like my favorite place to get my haircut: No appointments are needed, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, and I always walk out feeling better. Plus they accept most major insurance (which normally cover the cost of a flu shot!)  and  cash payments. This makes it so much easier for you as a family because you don’t have to endure the wait of making an appointment and waiting at a doctor’s office.

This year there are several types of the flu vaccine:

• Regular seasonal flu shot . The Minute Clinic is offering the  Trivalent and Quadrivalent shot this year:
o Trivalent Vaccine (TIV) contains 2 A strains and 1 B strain of the
influenza virus. This has been the standard flu vaccine since the late 1970s.

o Quadrivalent Vaccine (QIV) protects against an additional B strain. This vaccine was created based on research from the past 12 influenza seasons. This vaccine offers an additional layer of protection against the flu.

• High dose vaccination for customers 65 years and up (provides an elevated level of antigens, which create a stronger immune response in seniors)
MinuteClinic vaccinates patients 18 months and older. If you have a child between 6-18
months, they should receive their vaccination from a pediatrician. *Disclaimer: 18months and older; 24 months in KY; 5 years and older in CT.

The CRNP greeted us, helped us check in online at the touch screen and even remembered us from last year. She quietly asked me how Jacob felt about our visit and I confessed that he was a little skiddish but that I’d assured him we’d make it as painless as possible and that maybe (perhaps) I’d promised him a lollipop at the end.

To say our trip was uneventful would be a massive understatement. There was just no drama at all this year. The boys watched John and I get  our flu shots, Jacob actually held John’s hand “just in case it hurts Daddy!” and then when it was time for the boys they both hopped onto my lap, let their arm “go dead” as instructed and one small pinch later and two minion band-aids later ( parents go ready band-aids. Unfair!)  we were done and walking toward the door.

Not one tear from Jacob.

That’s how easy it is to get vaccinated.



My healthy, vaccinated kiddos

Of course staying healthy, washing your hands (especially after touching that touch screen  or any place that is used by lots of people) , covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and using disinfect doesn’t hurt. Eating and sleeping well will also add an extra level of protection to your immune system but the best way to prevent getting the flu is getting your annual flu shot. (Yep, every year! It’s a myth that once you’re vaccinated that you don’t need to be again. A new vaccine is developed every year to those protect against those strains.)

And just so we clear about up the other myths about it:

The Flu shot doesn’t make you sick. It’s a dead vaccine. Meaning it’s not able to make you ill.

Fall is not too early to get your shot. Because it takes about 2 weeks for the antibodies to develop in your system (and with Halloween on the way. Germs, germs, germs) it’s one of the best times to look into getting your shot.

And the CDC put together this PDF file that CVS Minute Clinic is sharing. It answers all those questions you still have that I can’t answer because I’m not a medical professional (and sadly, I don’t play one on TV either).

Being a mom these days is an infinite check list of To-Do’s and often we don’t make time for things like getting vaccinated. But like I told my sons as they licked those lollipops I’d promised, “Now that we got our flu shots we’ll have time for all the fun things about fall without being worried that we’ll get sick!”


HAPPY AUTUMN! Get your Flu Shot!

(Hey, maybe there’s a lollipop in it for you!) 

minute clinic



These are the ABCs of me baby!

It’s that time of the year (month) again! Time for Old School Blogging with the fabulous Elaine of The Miss-Elaine-ous Life and her sidekick this month; the one, the only, the funny and fantastic Andrea of About 100%. I call both of these women good, good friends of mine…mostly because they give good hugs and make me laugh.   (perhaps they have nice things to say about me too. Fingers crossed!) 


The prompt for this month’s share? A blog post by another favorite person of mine: Katie of Sluiter Nation and this post.

THE ABCs of ME: 

A- Age: 45 (Fabulous, most days)


B- Biggest Fear: Losing another person I love. (I’d write a bit more but then this blog will be all wet with tears.) I’m also afraid of never being enough. I think next to an unexpected loss the thing I fear most is being mediocre my whole life. (And snakes, always snakes. Ewww)

C- Current Time: 10:00 Am on Tuesday morning.

D- Drink you last had: Diet Caffeine Free Coke. (ahhh, my precious….)


E- Easiest Person To Talk to:  Myself. (Obviously. I always agree!)  My Mom (sometimes). John; when laughing. Morgan and Lisa for everything else. I don’t have to be anyone else with my besties.


F- Favorite Song: Trick question! But Silly Love Songs, Sister Golden Hair and 32 Flavors are three that make me smile through tears. (But lately I love the bands Arctic Monkeys (LOVE!) , Florence and the Machine and Fitz and the Tantrums)

G- Grossest Memory: Recently, our doggie Fenton had a diarrhea accident on our bedroom carpet and it was not fun to clean up. At all.  (poor puppy!)

H- Hometown: Carbondale, PA. (It’s tiny but on most modern maps and GPS systems. Even Waze knows where it is, so there!)

I- In love with: My sons, my husband and the summer. I love being barefoot and warm (not hot and sweaty mind you, but warm and suntanned. Kind of like a baked potato.) I also love shoes from Payless, dresses from NY&CO, Law & Order Marathons and my mom. (Who just moved into their house in Georgia. OMG!)


J- Jealous Of: I’m trying NOT to be jealous as of late. I don’t like myself very much when I’m comparing myself to other more fantastic people. (But let’s be honest…I’m really jealous of any woman who has kissed Pierce Brosnan or Robert Downey Jr. Lucky bitches!)

K- Killed Someone? ‪does writing it count? Then YES! (cue Vincent Price laughter)

L- Longest Relationship: Me and my mom; 45 years and still going strong.

Next up my sister, best friends Denise (43 years)  and Lisa (21 years)  and then of course John, together 14 years.


M- Middle Name: Anne (with an E )

N- Number of Siblings: This one is going to hurt. I have a baby sister Dana (43) and a baby brother in heaven Benjamin (forever young at 34, he’d be 36 now.) I have step siblings who are my family now too. Michelle, Dan and Geoff.


 O- One Wish:  Oh, like I’m going to tell you. HA! (I’d love a happy, peaceful life.) 

 P- Person who you last called:  My mom (see the pattern?)

Q- Question you’re always asked: “Where did you get your shoes? “

R- Reason to smile: It’s still warm enough for bare legs, dresses and bare feet. 

 S- Song you last sang: “Delilah” by Florence and the Machine.

T- Time you woke up: 5 am, to the early news.

 U- Underwear Color: Black and white polka dots cause I’m classy like that. 

V- Vacation Destination: We just got back from Ft. Myers, Florida and it was gorgeous but I’m missing Aruba. I’d love to take the boys there.


W- Worst Habit:  Over thinking everything and I must say “I’m sorry” about 100 times a day for things I didn’t even do.

  X- X-rays you’ve had: teeth, lungs, ovaries

Y- Your favorite food: (Old Forge) Pizza.

 Z- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius. I love being an Aquarian, our symbol is the water bearer but we are in fact an AIR sign ; spirits of the air, creative, emotional and willing to fly. I choose to believe we are friendliest, most spirited and best sign of the zodiac. *wink*

Image result for aquarius zodiac symbol


And for your viewing pleasure….Tom and Cuba Jr : ” these are the ABCs of me baby!


Wanna play?

Just answer the questions (easy-peasy) post them on your blog and then link up at Elaine’s or Andrea’s place. (don’t forget to tag #OSBlog on Twitter when you share!)

School, Soccer & Strategies (Back to School with CVS Minute Clinic)


It’s that time of the year again. Summer is slowly fading into the background and before we know it our kids won’t be sitting at picnic tables every afternoon instead they’ll be busy at their desks.

And those leisurely weekend afternoons at the pool will be replaced with  Saturday mornings on dew soaked soccer fields.

The school year is looming even as we take one more deep breath of salt air and dust sand from our feet. With that comes the need for things like school and sports physicals and a review of what to do if your child is injured during practice or a game.

While my little 2nd graders don’t need a sports physical before they take the field, your little athletes might and the CVS Minute Clinics are a great place to have them done and get all the authorizations on your required paperwork. They can keep your kiddos up to date with immunizations too. (Just remember to hold their hands if they need a shot and allow them some candy on the way out of the store.)

Earlier this week I  also lovingly arranged the new bags I got for the boys and then I read this, taking it all in and reminding myself to keep checking the weight of the backpacks once school is in high gear to avoid backaches, headaches and long term damage to their backs.

Then I ordered new cleats for their Fall soccer season and read up on the best ways to keep them hydrated, energetic and avoid injuries. Lots of useful and important information in this pamphlet.


 And don’t forget things like snacks for the games, calamine lotion for the bug bites (oh those dew soaked fields are filled with buggies ) and the sunscreen; because here in PA even though we hear school bells and the leaves start to change the heat of summer will follow us into September and it’s important to keep up with our skincare.


And band-aids.

The industrial size box because little kids and scrapes knees go together. It never hurts to have different sizes, shapes and character faces.

August2015 Jacob backtoschool PersonalCreations



 I think these smiles are ready for 2nd Grade! 

 Questions or just need to feel a lot less alone as we send them back to school? Take a look at the articles and videos offered by the Minute Clinic online, they are a wonderful resource.



CVS Minute Clinics can help us make sure all our kiddos go back to school happy & healthy. Hey before you know it, it’s going to be time to talk about Halloween costumes, candy and flu shots.

Wishing you a wonderful school year!

Don’t forget – you can get $10 off a sports physical from now until

9/7/15 , and a FREE Johnson & Johnson coupon book with $29 worth of savings!  

And if you’ve forgotten something  you can find the closest MinuteClinic to you here

I have received promotional consideration from MinuteClinic and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.  All opinions are my own.

Pour Your Heart Out: 10

I’ve always been a talker, a writer, a dreamer.


My desire to chronicle moments and memories didn’t just appear one day; instead I  believe I was born with it. I have notebooks and journals stacked among my favorite paperbacks, I have highlighted passages and small pieces of paper with quotes and my own thoughts and stories scattered in the zippered pockets of my purse and bulging out of the drawer in my nightstand.

I can barely pay attention to you because I am  busy writing our story in my head, right now. People watching is one of my favorite activities next to naps and shoe shopping and drinking in a story is the best way to spend a day, afternoon or evening.

So my journey to spreading words didn’t begin ten years ago when I published my first piece to Kir’s Corner. No, it was a part of me yearning to get out and the only difference was it now had a home and a name.

In the last ten years of my blogging journey I have written so many words, shared so many stories, divulged so many secrets and realized so many dreams. It doesn’t seem possible that a decade has passed since I began offering myself to you in the form of essays and haiku.

Blogging is different now, it’s less and more simultaneously. It’s about going viral and taking a stand, picking a side and honestly it’s exhausting. Yet, I can’t say goodbye to it because it’s brought so much to my life and my hope is that my words return, that I find something to say that is worth reading.

In the meantime I have been pondering and reminiscing about the decade gone in this space. I’ve never gotten famous or rich, but I am the first person you think about when cupcakes or high heels are mentioned and that fills my soul. I’ve learned where my strengths lie, that in building a community I built friendships that my life would be empty without.

I’ve accepted that perhaps I can use the term writer when I describe myself.


And to that end I found that I write about so many things; from the happy to the tragic, from the wild creative stories of fiction to the memory tugging words of memoir. I have invited people in to share Proud Mommy Moments and I have blog-hopped, music-shared and meme-ed myself silly.

To think in ten years I didn’t get pregnant and then I did, I talked about karma and Aruba and IVF. You’ve seen my miracle boys born and  grow up and in a larger sense you saw me grow up too. We’ve hugged and shared, laughed and celebrated my birthdays (and more) together.


We are friends inside this screen and outside  of it.

I’ve attended Blog conferences and Bloggy Boot Camps (connecting, networking and just talking), I’ve been published and syndicated, seen my name added on an Amazon page and read my own words about my incredible sons on a stage in New York City.




I’ve found my center being a cheerleader and supportive commenter. I’ve never been happier than when my friends found success with their own words or been more motivated to dig deeper, kill- my-darlings, share all I have in an effort to someday be like them.  I have spent every day being so grateful for the friendships this space has poured into my life from every corner of the world.

And while I procrastinate and ponder my place in this space I know I still have a long way to go, so many things to share, words that are bursting and stories that are still simmering.

This year two of my greatest dreams came true:  I was able to direct Listen to Your Mother-Lehigh Valley and a piece of mine  was chosen as a Voice of the Year by BlogHer for the first time!!!

My life continues to change and evolve here in this corner.

LTYM2015 CastPicture1PM

Ten years ago I hit publish and introduced myself, thank you for coming into my life and enriching it, you mean so much to me.

Thank you for reading the words I share.


It’s all been worth the wait and now I can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store for me.


So thankful for people like Shell who gave us Pour Your Heart Out so that I have a place to share this milestone with all of you.



32 Flavors (Old School Blogging)

I am a non apologetic daydreamer

I wonder if my deepest, darkest hopes and dreams will ever come true

I hear my sons laugh and squabble , my mom’s voice, my husband’s love, my gut telling me which way to go
I see the world as it is and it scares me
I want a full, money-back guarantee, on anything that goes wrong in this life
I am not as hopeful or optimistic as I used to be.

I pretend I’m thinner, smarter, wittier, liked for who I am
I feel helpless and overwhelmed sometimes
I touch people when I’m talking to them in an effort to connect with the world
I worry about unexpected phone calls, bills coming due and the other shoe falling
I cry in Hallmark stores and during romantic comedies. I cry when I’m happy and sad in equal measure.
I am a conundrum; an air sign wrapped in the name “water bearer”

I understand how quickly time flies and how precious today is
I say “I love you” as much as I can…because I do.
I dream of being the person I always thought I’d be
I try to be kind, to be thoughtful, to be good
I hope and dream and pray and sin and forgive and love every single day.
I am thirty-two flavors and then some…

Linking with my  wonderful, sweet friend Elaine and her partner for OSBlogging this month ( the dancing queen!) Angela. 

Ah-choo! Welcome to Allergy Season (CVS MINUTE CLINICS)


 Spring in Pennsylvania 2015

Spring has arrived in our backyard. Time for short sleeved shirts and afternoons full of blowing bubbles into the blue sky.

And my sons are ready for outdoor adventures as much as any other seven year olds but over the weekend I heard the other tell-tale sign of Spring’s arrival.

The sniffling. 

The sneezes: 
Ah-Choo!!!!!! (that stuns and scares me every time) from my husband and son Jacob.

“Bless You!” I called into the living room.  A tiny voice yelled back “thanks!” before another wave of sneezes.

The mountains of discarded tissues littering every square inch of my house. 

It’s Spring but it’s also Allergy season in the Piccini house.

Known as sniffling, sneezing, can’t-sleep-because-of-the-tossing-turning -and-snot-ridden-noses. My family loves to be outside, chasing fly balls and enjoying dinner on the deck but I catch myself looking at the gently swaying limbs of the cherry blossom trees and I see all the yellow pollen coating cars, handrails and recently our front stairs and I know what’s coming.

More sneezes.

More congestion.

Of course the best preventative medicine is to stay away from the allergen but you try to keep two little boys in the house when the sun is shining and the dandelions are blowing. There is just no escaping the allergens.

And my poor Jacob ends up looking like this:
Blog2015CVSJacob'sNosethat is one red, raw and sore nose folks. 

So thank goodness for the nurses, doctors and staff of CVS Minute Clinics who will explain the differences between allergies and an actual cold (normally a cold is accompanied by a persistent cough, body aches and a fever) and allergies (itchy, watery eyes, a runny, sore nose) to us and then help us find a speedy remedy so that we can continue to enjoy our days outside among the allergens.

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from season allergies or asthma?  Look around ; one of the 5 people around you right now are carrying their weight in antihistamines and tissues in their pockets hoping for some relief of their sinus pressure, nasal congestion or a host of other symptoms of their allergy woes. 

It’s simply “that time of year” for many of us. Those beautiful flowering trees and bursting flower gardens are a welcome sight after the cold, barren winter we had here in the Northeast but they carry all the airborne substances (proteins) that float around, get up inside our nasal cavities and cause so havoc.

In our house over the counter decongestants and antihistamines are life savers and Jacob has become an expert at knowing how to use a nasal saline, tipping his head just so and allowing all the yuck to drain from his tiny congested nose. (If only my stubborn, suffering husband would follow suit! LOL)

We take our allergy season seriously and remember to wash our hands a lot, to keep our bed sheets laundered (weekly) to wash away the allergens and try to wash off enough of the “day” before we go to bed.

All of those things combine to help Jacob look like this instead: check out those bright eyes and smiles! (#SneezeFreeSpring)



Here is some important info about the way  CVS Minute Clinics can help you through allergy season :

minute clinic

  • Open 7 days a week
  • No appointment necessary
  • Most insurance accepted

Here is someone from CVS Minute Clinics to tell you a bit more about how allergies are diagnosed and treated:


Wishing you a happy, #SneezeFreeSpring! 

Find Minute Clinic online, Facebook and Twitter…follow along #SneezeFreeSpring for more information about symptoms, diagnosis and remedies for allergy season.  

***I have received promotional consideration from Minute Clinic, but the thoughts, opinions and sneezes contained in this post are all my own. ***


Uncharted (LTYM/Lehigh Valley 2015)

I felt the lights come up and warm my face, heard my voice echo through the room and reveled in the low murmurs and adjustments of the audience as they settled in.LTYM

I wasn’t quite sure how I felt. But I smiled as tears picked  at the corners of my eyes. I touched the binder full of stories, ran my hands across the words of these amazing writers and allowed them to sink into my skin.

LTYM2015 Collage

I don’t know about you but when I’m about to embark on a new journey there is always an air of anticipation and a belly of butterflies. Happiness, terror, bliss and nerve wracking fear fight for center stage in the middle of my chest.

My chest, at that moment, was fluttering, kicking and bursting with emotions I don’t have the words to convey just yet, and yet… I was happy, proud, thrilled and overwhelmed with the honor of the journey I was taking.

My dream was coming true. 

Listen To Your Mother-Lehigh Valley didn’t come easily. After reading in for the 2012 NYC show I began to dream of hosting it in my own backyard but the journey to that stage in the middle of Bethlehem was one filled with disappointment, false starts and rejections and then a miracle. A true eleventh hour email and introduction , Hail Mary pass,  that found the right hands.

As I stood on that stage two Sundays ago I wondered how it all came together when just a few months ago I had no idea if I was capable of doing any of it. I met Kristina and Lauren and that made it better, sweeter, possible. But like any Type-B personality I was wondering if I could.

Could I produce, direct, audition people and and say no, could I ask for money, sponsorships? Could I work  full time and still WOW! an audience? Did I have any special talent that would allow me to express the enormity of this show to anyone who asked, “what is this you’re doing?” Because I’ve tried to explain LTYM to people and realize that I just end up saying…”You won’t know until you’ve experienced it. You won’t know until you come.”

It was a completely uncharted territory for me.


Last Sunday I sat in another dark auditorium and waited for the spotlight to come up on two precious sailors. They both held tight to the ship’s wheel and when the music allowed them they found their voices and raised them to tell the story of a Little Mermaid.


Pride puddled in the middle of my chest. Even when props faltered or songs stuttered my boys  carried on. They found their voices and sang their songs loud and clear.

This first year of glee club, I’ve seen them blossom and open, stretch themselves beyond nervous tummies and band together in a way only twin brothers can. They made their own village in their uncharted territory and faced all the fears and bellies of butterflies of their own.


I’m not reading, you know.”

I  must have uttered that line to dozens of people who told me they were coming to the show.

They’d smile and assure me that it was of no consequence…they wanted to help me witness my dream coming true.

“I’m going to emcee!” I’d offer as a consolation prize until realized it was exactly where I wanted to be for this inaugural show. I had learned how to produce, how to sell our show, how to reach out to people and organizations in order to make it success and while I was quite proud of how far I’d come in that capacity I knew that the talent I possessed was that of mama bird, cheerleader,  supporter.


And so when my voice shook, or my eyes filled as I read introductions it was because pride had taken over. I was moved, inspired and deeply proud of the twelve people who had overcome their own fear and doubt to not only audition but to come up onto that stage.

They did what they do.

I did what I do.

And it was MAGIC.

LTYM was amazing and moving, touching and everything I had imagined it would be.

I sat in the back of the auditorium as The Little Mermaid had their first intermission. A fellow mom strode past and touched my shoulder.

“You should be so proud! The show was great!”

I smiled and nodded, “they are doing such a great job aren’t they?”

She nodded. “They are, but I meant YOU! Last week! You were wonderful and you have to be so proud of all you’ve accomplished.”

Caught off guard, in unfamiliar waters, I floundered for words.

Finally,  “I am. I’m so proud. Were you there? I didn’t see you.”

“I was and everyone is talking about it. So many more people want to come next year.”

I took a deep breath and took one look to the left and then to the right as our cast took their seats.

All those smiles, all those stories, the cast members who had become friends, family.

I let myself soak it in, I swam toward the deep waters and dived down.

In the shadow of Bethlehem Steel and in the company of the people who mean the most to me in the world, I reached the shore.


Standing at the edge of the stage we took our bows.




Three performances later, my little sailors had found their sweet spot.

Their timing was impeccable, their laughter was contagious.

I beamed with pride.


The past two weeks have been a lesson in steering my own ship, of knowing when to ask for help at the wheel, when to let the tide determine the course and when to just drift and allow the waves to carry me.

Sails up!

LTYM2015 CastPicture1PM

Our amazing, beautiful, loquacious, funny, smart :

LTYM-Lehigh Valley Inaugural Cast 2015

L-R: Melanie Madamba, Rebecca Einstein Schorr, Michelle Meeh, Meghan Moravcik Walbert, Lauren Hale, Jerry Waxler, Kristina Grum, Maggie Cooke, Me, Denise Whitney, Jeannette Bellesfield, Christine Burke, Amy Kruzel, Dana Schwartz.


…and just because this song/video makes me laugh and I adore Sara Bareilles:

Uncharted but no longer afraid.

 LTYM2015KirandMomPMMe: Listening to my very proud mother.

**Cast photos courtesy of Elaine Zelker Photography, our local sponsor and amazing photographer!**


We will…Listen

Jacob has a new app on his tablet that allows him to record his own voice and play it back.  much like a digital recorder.  He has penned stories and songs, all original content, his own thoughts and imagination pouring itself into his little fingers as he types away and hit SAVE.

He relishes the editing, the intricate tweaking of his own masterpieces, before he stands before me and sings the songs he’s written or performs the stories he’s woven. He beams when he’s finished , so happy that he’s captured them in his little black device for another performance later.

I love this side of him, the storyteller side. The actor/performer side. I never interrupt or tell him to change this or edit that because I know that the magic lies in his way of telling it, the story is his and his alone and no one can revise, revisit or recite that tale or tempo but him. I just sit back and listen. And giggle. And sometimes tear up at the creativity he’s offering me; his audience.

When I read in the NYC Listen to Your Mother Show in 2012 I was given the gift of an audience. A theatre filled with people willing to hear my story, to listen. There is no greater gift.

So when I was chosen, along with Kristina and Lauren, to bring a

LTYM show to the Lehigh Valley I knew that I would be part of the team that would be giving the gift of an audience to our community and it’s storytellers.


Our auditions are this weekend and I can’t wait to sit and simply listen. To offer the people willing to share their stories with me a place, a “stage”, to pour their words out about motherhood in all its forms.

We are ready.

We are excited.

We are just as nervous as the people trusting us with their words.

But most of all….

We are ready to listen.

(Wish us luck!)


With special thanks to Jon and Emily at  our #local sponsor Arts Quest /Banana Factory for offering us a place to hold auditions.


There Are Always Reasons to Dance: The 45th Birthday Celebration


Blog2015PMTSEliotquoteYellowBackgroundWe’ve been doing this a while now.

Celebrating my birthday in this space.

I have such wonderful memories of adding  more and more people to invitation list and getting to spend the day reading the greetings you gave me. From favorite cakes and presents to the quotes that speak to your hearts I have opened each gift with all the reverence reserved for the kind of love they were given with.

But this year is different, This year I turn 45 and  instead of bemoaning a likely mid-way point of my life I want to smile, I want to giggle and dance instead.

So I asked for a song. In the words of my dear friend, Holly, I wanted your “razzle-dazzle” song.

A hip- swinging, butt- shimmying, hands- over- your- head, white-man’s-overbite, get- on -down or get- on- up song that moves your body & mind while making it impossible for you to sit in your chair.

I’ve been sitting  in my chair for far too long.

My birthday seems like that perfect time to celebrate and reminiscence, it’s the perfect time to DANCE.

The answers came from every corner of my world and added up to over 12 hours!  (wow) of music, memories and songs that are guaranteed to make you want to celebrate 45 with me. 

Here it is...

Spotify (ready to share list of all the songs given to me by everyone I love.

Hoping this gift helps you celebrate this birthday me.



Kir’s Celebration Track  

Old school hits from Frankie Vallie and Frank Sinatra to club favorites from Biggie, 50 Cent and Mark Morrison. We’ve got your favorites from Whitney and Pitbull, Chris Brown showed up and AC/DC shook us all night long.

We went from country to club, indie to progressive and pop and came all the way back to disco. From one decade to the next we all found our groove. 

I learned a few new songs from Mint Royale, The Polyphonic Spree, The Philip Glass Ensemble  and Jennifer Tyrnin that have become new favorites.

I learned the Gio loves to get down to some Carly Rae and Jacob prefers New Direction and Pharrell when he shakes his bootie. John opted for December 1963 nights and some Good Vibrations.

Best friends wanted Blurred Lines, Pitbulls and Yeah (3 Times!).

The song  picked more than once:

I Gotta Feeling

and the one picked more than a dozen times:
Our Taylor : Shakin it Off:

Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off. Shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake

Seems like a perfect message for my 2nd act.

There were the Divas;  Madge, Mary J, Mariah and Martina. Aretha came round and so did Donna, P!nk, Thelma and Lady Gaga.

U2 came to play, Katy Perry followed behind in pink heels and Prince finally arrived all dressed in purple.

What would a celebration mix be without Michael, Elvis and Justin? They were all invited and they showed, bringing Neil, The Black Keyes and even the Cast of Glee.

There are ROCK ANTHEMS, ceilings that can’t hold us and Greased Lightening rocking alongside smooth criminals and Mr. Blue Sky.

I realized  almost immediately that Arnebya really needed a post of her own  because there isn’t a song she’s met that doesn’t  make her want to get up and get down to those back beats . The bonus?  She and Andrea can outlast any rapper in the universe.  (this is the joy of sharing my day with all of you, seeing everyone enjoy it and sing the lyrics over one another. It was the pre-game and it was awesome!)

There are ladies that love disco as hard and long as I do…and we so we invited Chic, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Bee Gees , The Village People and Abba into the inner sanctum to get down on it. 

There were stories that touched my heart from Alexandra ( about babies!) , Julie ( about friends that are like family) Kristen (about girls having fun and what her mom taught her about herself!)  and Tricia ( about making every day the Best Day of our Lives!)  Then Kelly picked a song just for us from Darius Rucker and Nicole sent me a message that sparkled with words that made me feel like a rainbow-unicorn. 

We brought back the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and tagging along behind were memories of high school dances, the backseat of cars, first kisses and first heartbreaks. College parties and our free, musical single lives. We danced each other into our adult selves. 

Hey, It  still takes two to get  you into the groove and move like Jaggar.

(see what I did there? )

We wanted to see your tootsie roll and hear you scream “Let’s get loud!” just in time for Mickey to show up. He’s so fine, you see!

And while I’m sure we’ve missed a few of your favorites I’m counting on you leaving them in the comments (consider it my present!) and I can add them on and keep the party going like it’s 1999.

I’m sure you’re all wondering what my go to song is, the one that will bring me to the dance floor every time?

It’s this 80’s classic from the Breakfast Club complete with all my made up dance steps

I could move out to the left for a while
I could slide to the right for a while
I could get up and back
Right on track
But is right on track
Is that gonna get you back?

Wow, this is some party! Careful on the confetti! 

Wait! Before you go …just promise me you’ll listen to this playlist today and maybe over the weekend and perhaps into next month and when you do you’ll think of me and how, in this moment

I’m so happy I could die

there is no place I’d rather be…than here with all of you my friends

And because there is always a parting gift …I’m leaving you with a ditty that promises to “Rick-Roll” you courtesy of my incredible friend Jennifer:

Nope, my friends….Never Gonna Give You Up!

…you’re welcome for the ear-worm and  Keep Dancing!

Kir <3

(Thanks for celebrating with me: Alison, Arnebya, Andrea, Shell, Katie, Elaine, Jennifer, Val, Leigh Ann, Greta, Kristin, Kristen, Deborah, Kate, Dana, Marian, Jessie,  Angela Holly, Andra, Christine, Charlotte, Barbara,  LoriLauren, Kristina, Kim, Lou, Eli, Tracy, Alexandra, Nicole, Suniverse, Leigh Ann, Tiina, Alex, Michele, Jennie, Laura, Keely, Kiran, Natalie, Julie, Kerstin, Morgan, Lisa, Noelle, Alyssa, Valerie, Victoria, Kristian, CarolAnn, Meg, Tricia, Elizabeth, Carrie, Sarah,  Sherri, Tina, Tara, Tonya and Mom)



This is 7


This is seven….



It is…


ninja fights that transition to brother hugs

screams of “you’re the worst mommy!” that melt into hugs and “thank you for making us the best Christmas ever, mommy!”

It is unexpected snuggles and deep, throaty laughter at their own bodily functions

It’s stinky feet and rolling around on the floor. It’s trying to ride the dog and whispering secrets to each other

It’s talking in a language only they know until they are belly laughing

it is favorite movies on repeat

and  singing to Annie soundtracks

and Karaoke of One Republic, Imagine Dragons and One Direction.

It’s trying new foods (that are sometimes green. Sometimes.)

It is self sufficient meets “I can’t do this alone, but I’m gonna try!”

Seven is tall legs and high water jeans, it’s little feet growing too fast so that there is always a hole in the sock or little toes poking through the fabric of the sneakers.

It is being an individual and part of a team.

It is “I LOVE YOU!” out of nowhere that stops my breath and brings hot tears to my eyes

“I want to wear something different” until they see it on the other and then “I’m going to change so we match!” (Jacob still loves the little touches like his new gingham bow tie)


It is battling each other over imaginary things but standing up for one another when the chips are down

It’s old school board games meets technology


Practicing your smooth dance moves and getting cast in the school play


It’s being big boys but still  cuddling a favorite stuffed animal

Christmas2014PMBoysKissReindeerXmasEve  It’s the  year of two different cake choices for their family party

It is friendships


Seven is still whining and challenging me about everything from breakfast meat to homework

It is wasting time and refusing to help and then helping with all their might

It is loving each other and the world unconditionally


It is magic and smiles



it still believing …




it is naughty and nice all at once

Christmas2014PMBoyswithElfieShirts Christmas2014PMBoysHugGioTongue


Loves sports of all kinds and honestly gives every color commentator in any market a run for their money with his knowledge of rules, players and  team history


Is still scared to go upstairs in the dark alone

Can read anything (even the texts I am writing that he should not be reading as I’m typing)

Has questions. So. Many. Questions.


Plays Trivia Crack and even his guesses are normally right

Still loves the color pink

Plays like a boy, loves like a girl


Is so grown up and so little all at once

He squeezes my heart just by looking at him.


Can create a character and then play that person for hours on end complete with costumes, accent and verbatim dialogue


Is the best dressed kid I know


Knows just when to use the phrase “hot mess!”

Loves “A Christmas Carol”, “Harry Potter” and “Santa Claus”

He’s a fantastic artist, with an eye for detail that amazes and inspires me


Is full of wonder, awe and ideas.

He is the human equivalent of believe“.

Knows the true happiness is blank sheets of  white paper, a bucket of crayons and your imagination.

Jacob loves with his whole heart and cares deeply for other people.

He is one of my favorite people



Seven is supposed to be a transition age and it feels like just that. It feels like they are still my babies even as I realize they are growing so quickly  they no longer fit on my lap. So I find myself kissing their temples more often and offering myself as a seat far more often just to be able to have them near me. I relish the hugs and kisses, I laugh at their attempts at jokes and I sit in quiet pride when they are smart, when they are kind and when they are more than I ever expected.

I feel proud and special to be their mom.

Seven, if we were in a relationship, would be the year of the itch and the scratch and the exasperation but for me I have fallen in love with my sons this past year.

For the longest time I thought mothering wouldn’t came naturally to me, that I loved my boys but they weren’t my crush, my muses, my breath.


But I am smitten.

I have fallen with no thought, excuse , rhyme, or reason.


It is the sweetest feeling I have ever known.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY my amazing little boys…


…welcome to 7!



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