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!



First, The Flowers (The Ben Stories)

It is the anniversary of Ben’s death today. A year without him and our family still swings between denial, disbelief and dedication to loving each other while helping one another through the really bad days. (And there are bad days, as expected.)

I had promised months ago I would share some of the stories (miracles, really) of things that have taken place since his passing and yet when I’d go to write the words and they were stuck between my head, my fingers and my heart.

But then I took a creative non-fiction class at a community college this fall and I was able to open the tap on those stories and emotions a tiny bit.

The first story I’d like to share with you is all about the flowers, pink roses to be exact, and the way they brightened our life in the time after Ben left us.

First, The Flowers. 

I’ve never been particularly keen on roses.

It’s not that I don’t think they are pretty or sweet smelling, I just believe them to be pompous.

The truth is that it’s probably the people who send them who are actually the culprits and deserving of my scorn  but when I think of roses my first thought is normally, “eh. They try too hard”  as if the flowering buds were responsible for their own breeding, capable of telling their own history and calculating their own worth.

My brother never liked flowers because his allergies rendered him helpless around them. Yet, he was often a romantic fool so I am sure he loved watching the light rise in the face of the woman he bestowed them on even if it meant he needed to  bark and plead with them later that they must take the said gift immediately from the room because he couldn’t breathe.

Life is funny.

I never held a fondness for the flower the way other women do.

But then something happened.

And it all started the day he died.

He’d been hooked up to machines for days as we prepared his organs for donation. Snow had fallen and Christmas music was playing everywhere while we were said our first goodbyes to a man gone far too soon. The morning they declared him my family took a deep breath and piled into a car on the hunt for a funeral home.

It’s not normally the kind of trip that lends itself to frivolity yet I I can imagine there were just as many tears as there were small sobs of laughter inside that vehicle s they set off. My step dad at the wheel with my sister-in-law next to him in her new role as widow with her mother, my sister and my mother respectively taking up all the room across the back seat. And it would only make sense that my mom, deep in grief and denial would think she could sneak a smoke in the back seat without disapproving eyes and opinion so the way the stories always been told to me goes like this:

(It’s worth mentioning now that we’d all been been praying and hoping for a miracle. As Catholics that included reaching out to the saints of our  faith , in particular, my sister- in- law’s mom’s was beseeching St. Theresa better known as the Little Flower to the faithful to bring comfort and peace to my brother during his passing. She reminded us often that if the saint heard and answered your prayers she would send pink roses to you. )

My mom lowered her window to enjoy a hit of nicotine when the car was stopped at a light in the middle of a questionable neighborhood in Maryland. From her seat my mom noticed a man in a dark parka walking down the sidewalk with his entire upper body obscured by green tissue paper. Obvious he was carrying a bouquet of some kind so as  he drew closer my mom yelled into the cold air:  “some lady is surely lucky today.”

He never broke his stride as the people in the car tensed and he drew closer, the large arrangement bobbing in the winter wind. As he came upon the car he motioned for my mom to lower her window even more. She obliged, hesitantly, and when the opening was big enough, he set the bouquet in her lap.

“I think you might need these more than I do. Have a lovely day.”

Nothing else was said or done as he made his way to the opposite sidewalk, not even the expected stop at the driver’s side of the car to demand money, he simply kept walking. My mother unwrapped the flowers and peered down into a lapful of petite pink roses. Her own tears mixing with the audible gasps of her fellow car mates.

Handing them to them my sister-in-law in the front seat, the girl reverently touched the petals and said, “he never really sent flowers, but when he did, to the office of course with strict instructions to leave them there, it was always pink roses.”

That in and of itself would have been an excellent story to be retold even if there was all there was; a miracle born of serendipity and comfort given to us when we needed it most.

But you must know by now that it isn’t the end of the tale.

Two weeks after his funeral and far too close to my favorite holiday my mom called with tears in her voice.

“Do you remember the angel I got for Emily?” she said. “I just realized how much your brother would have hated it. It’s all pastel colors and she’s smiling, but you’ll never believe what is running down the length of her robes?”

I didn’t need to guess.

“Tiny pink rosebuds.”

I felt the tears sting the corners of my eyes as I realized the connotation of the flower I shunned.

But in my heart it was a bit of cold comfort because these events were also happening to other people other . I felt the connection and the significance but I didn’t have a place in it, my belief that Ben was offering us comfort from the afterlife was coming from outside myself.

Until Christmas day when I opened a gift from my niece.

A silver bracelet encouraging me to “love this life” sat in the tissue paper. I lifted it and pinched the hinge, easing it over my knuckles and allow it to settle on my arm. I shook my wrist to allow the charms to bump and tinkle against one another.

I hugged my niece for the gift and took a closer look at it as it spun around my wrist. My breath caught and my heart opened. My brother had sent me a Christmas gift too, next to the words meant to motivate and encourage my own living was a small delicate silver rosebud and nestled next to it an undeniably pink bauble.


I don’t know how long it will take me to write and share the remaining three stories about angels, butterflies and pennies but I hope that if you come here and read this story it will help me write the others.


Thank you for your love and care this past year, it has made all the difference.

Linking with Shell for some much needed heart pouring.





This House Needs a Mouse (A Book Review)


The book showed up and we all fell in love with the cover. My first grade readers were intrigued.

“This…house…neds (no!) neeeeeds (needs!)…a…mouse!”


“Mommy? Does our house need a mouse?”

I looked anxiously at my husband, side-eyed and trying not to giggle. “I’m not quite sure this house needs a mouse.”  Ahem.

But then we read the book and my eyes opened up right along with my heart. I found myself smiling, giggling, intrigued and most of all, invested in that little mouse. A mouse that was for all the world ordinary and quite possibly, insignificant, who became so much more than that because of his desire to do his best work and a family’s desire to employ him by looking past his outward appearance.

It was a book about acceptance and love on a large and very, small, perhaps fuzzy, scale. It changed the way I looked out at the world and reminded me (Once again, since I’m obviously a slow learner) that you cannot judge a book by its cover or a person by their appearance or a rodent by their tail.

Author C. Jeffrey Nunnally  (@CJNunnally) brings us a lesson wrapped in an engaging tale about three families and the extraordinary things that connect them.

It’s already a favorite on my bookshelf.

Treat yourself, your family, your favorite children to a copy and I promise it will be a favorite for you too.



But the thing I love most about this book? It taught me that not everything is what it seems, that everyone has a purpose and that even the most insignificant things are surprisingly significant.  Those things you are so sure are ordinary  are really the most extraordinary of things. They are, in fact, the most special things about you.

And now, I’m quite sure every house, does indeed, need a mouse.

You can get your copy of “This House Needs A Mouse”  on the book’s (adorable) website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Big Tent Books.


I was sent a copy of this incredible book for review. All opinions, love and cheerleading for this book are entirely my own. 


Building a Dream

Once upon a time John and I were building a house and then, just as suddenly, we weren’t.

Life can take your journey toward a dream on any number of paths, it can tear down one notion of happiness only to plant the seed of it somewhere else.

Eight years ago John and I had a vision of what our house should look like. Jaded and mentally drained by our infertility we began to build a home and soon discovered that a red door and stone facade might not be the cornerstones of the thing we were truly dreaming of.

The story I wrote about that period of our lives is being featured over at Brain, Child Magazine today.

The House a Dream Built is a story for anyone who has given up one dream to pursue another, or watched one path close off only to have another open and carry you onward. And it’s our story, the one that built our family from the ground up.

Hoping you can take a few minutes and visit me there today since another dream came true when Brain, Child chose to feature this piece. I’m so incredibly honored to appear on their pages.



The cutest dreams we every built!

Happiness is The Holiday Collections from Shutterfly

When does Christmas find you?

Every year, right after Halloween, I find myself in the Christmas spirit. Humming carols, sipping hot chocolate and dreaming of the warmth, joy and peace of my very favorite season of the year.

And so I call on my favorite photographer and endeavor to have funny, frame-worthy pictures taken of my family. I ended up buying the sweaters the boys are wearing during the after- Christmas sales of last year so I knew that our color palette would include cranberry and white this year.

I was giddy with the prospect of more beach pictures but this year we added a fun, midway-feel to the typical family photos. We posed, we pondered and we giggled. We tried in vain to stand up straight and I kissed the beautiful, soft cheeks of my sons too many times to count because it was soooo cold on that boardwalk.

And you know what I did after that fantastic photo shoot?

I headed over to Shutterfly to make those memories into our gorgeous Christmas cards . Every year I am thrilled, surprised and up spending  hours in their galleries picking the perfect backgrounds and accompaniments to our photos.


This year Shutterfly introduced The Perfectly Personal™   line including their new Foil Stamped Line and I quickly set about positioning favorite photos, then adding on things like spiffy back-sides, address labels,  stickers to use as closures and personalized postage.

Their “solution sets” made it easy to put together several collections perfectly suited for family, friends and everyone else.

Christmas2014ShutterflyCollageRedCheerThe Cheers card  with matching address labels and stickers.


 The Perfect Peace card comes in signature or pearl shimmer cardstock then all you have to do is  just add a personalized address label and postage. It’s just that easy to make your pictures into a work of art.

You can choose from all different kinds of trim options like rounded, scalloped and bracket and then add back-of-card designs, various fonts and colors to compliment your color scheme.

I was lost in a palette of snowflakes, candy canes and holly leaves. No one has the kind of selections they offer and I might have used about 22 fonts and colors before I settled on one.

The joy of so many choices!

And if you’re planning a Holiday party, bash or get-together you can customize your collection with invites, address labels and stickers  to match your holiday cards and put together a lovely streamlined look.



Is it any wonder that I turn to Shutterfly for all my holiday needs?

Solution sets for Flat Stationary Cards:  party invitation, holiday greeting, address label, sticker & personalized postage stamps

  • Layout options:  1, 2, 3, 4+ photos
  • Trim options:  rounded, bracket, scallop & ticket
  • Sentiment options:  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year & Editable
  • Color options
  • Back of card designs & layout options
  • Paper options:  Signature cardstock or pearl shimmer cardstock

There are so many options and variations to set your creativity in motion and before you know it…Christmas has found you.

Once you get over to the Shutterfly gallery be sure to check out all these amazing, whimsical and elegant designs sure to make your holidays merry and bright:


  • Real foil stamped, gold or red, premium look
  • Trim options:  rounded, bracket, scallop & ticket
  • Sentiment options:  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year
  • Back of card designs & layout options
  • Paper options:  Signature cardstock or pearl shimmer cardstock

3/4 cards 

  • More photo spaces
  • Text boxes to add captions to more photos
  • Copy space for holiday newsletter/top 10/year in review within the card
  • Sentiment options:  Fixed or Editable
  • Paper options:  Signature cardstock or pearl shimmer cardstock

Tri-fold cards

  • More photo spaces
  • Text boxes to add captions to more photos
  • Copy space for holiday newsletter/top 10/year in review within the card
  • Sentiment options:  Fixed or Editable
  • Paper options:  Signature cardstock or pearl shimmer cardstock

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season and be sure to check your mail pile for our Christmas card in the coming weeks.


***I was compensated with product for my honest review for the Shutterfly 2014 Holiday Collection however all opinions and LOVE for Shutterfly are my own.***

Boys and Bingo : Pour Your Heart Out

Jacob picked orange even as its front proclaimed the color as pumpkin and Gio picked red, because they were all out of pink. He begrudgingly followed us to the table and sat down next to me, smoothing the small tall stack of flimsy boards that were newspaper-like in their texture. Uncapping the oversized marker he went about smacking the color into the Free Space and then rested his chin in his palm and waited.

Both boys scanned the table of purses and bags that would serve as the prizes of the lucky and declared their intentions right before the room buzzed with the scratch of a voice over a microphone.

When I conjure my Grandma Helen my thoughts float, zip and pause for moments on things like condensed milk, crisp five dollar bills and heavy, colorful rag rugs stacked in a roomy, musty basement. I reminisce about things like Little Debbie cookies, clean houses, open doors and small juice glasses filled to the top with generic black cherry soda.

She was a sweet old woman who cursed by saying things like “son of beech-nut” and thought badly of anyone who smoked.

I chuckle when I remember how she stacked boxes of crackers and snacks in the oven she never used, bills and important policy papers in the microwave she never plugged in and her ability to gossip, apply a fresh sweep of lipstick and build her upper arm strength by shifting her small black Valiant into gear all at once as we zoomed around free of seatbelts.

Her guilty pleasures ran the gamut from Saturday night polka dances to cheap icy cold beer or the once-in-a-while highball. She never missed church or a viewing lest she miss the chance to socialize and grieve and she harbored a love of costume jewelry and the ability to match it to every outfit she owned. A trait she happily handed down to me.

But her bliss was Bingo.

From the time I was the smallest of girls my mother would tell me the stories of her family, passing down the tall tales and truly hard to believe legends that would become our history. Regale is the word that comes to mind. I wasn’t simply told stories; I was regaled, entertained and quite possibly distracted to ensure maximum help as we dusted baseboards and carried buckets of soapy water from one end of the house to the other in a futile attempt to keep dust bunnies away.

And the stories about my Grandma always start and end with the Bingo. The way she would cook dinner, clean the kitchen and leave my mother in a very quiet house with strict instructions not to wake her dad, or drink, eat or soil anything while she gallivanted off with a pocketbook full of small red markers, jingly coins and prohibited (and therefore hidden) snacks buried deep in the folds.

I was only invited to accompany her to a Bingo hall twice in the whole time she and I inhabited the earth together. My mom used to tell me to not take it personally, “Grandma takes Bingo seriously” and I got to see it up close and personal those trips where I watched her work that room and her twenty-five card spread like a barker at a carnival. Coaxing, soothing, clucking like a mother hen and then her unbelievable transformation when it came down to the first letter and number called. She’d scan her cards like a paranoid auditor and still be able to hear every story being shared in rapid whispers in between the boom of the announcer.

She treated those evenings like a job more than the one she schlepped to in the dress factory that existed to fund them.

I came out of my reverie to one son on my left all energy and talk, easily distracted  and unable to sit still while the one on my right channeled his inner competitor and seemed to challenge every middle aged woman in the room. Just as one son remembered he was six and chucked his marker and paper at me in exchange for a run around the room the other seemed to settle in as fortitude rose in his soft pink cheeks.

Raising boys often leaves me on the outside of their activities. I reject the athleticism and the roughhousing and it isn’t often I see the women of my past reflected in their eyes. But that evening, even as we went home empty handed, I caught a spark of Helen and the great grandchildren she didn’t live long enough to hold.

Gio would have given her a run for her money.November2014BoysatBingoKP

Linking with the amazing Shell for PYHO this week.

The Wait is Over: LTYM is coming to the Lehigh Valley!

There is no way  for me to announce this without  squeeing and busting your eardrums so I apologize in advance.

Bringing Listen to Your Mother to my backyard has been a dream of mine since 2013, right after I was part of the cast for the inaugural NYC show. I felt the power of those stories that Sunday afternoon and yearned to give the voices of my own community the same kind of stage.

But for one reason or another it just never came to be.

This year was looking like it would trending that way again when I sent a heartfelt note to Ann about how much I believed in LTYM and although I wouldn’t be turning in an application I would like very much to be kept in mind should she ever find a partner for me.

The day applications were due I sat at my desk and felt peaceful with my decisions even as my heart hurt with the disappointment.

Then…a miracle.

I got an email that just that morning from Ann that an application from Bethlehem, PA had been requested. The next few hours were a hazy, happy blur as I got to ‘know’ the two bloggers who live so close to me and whom I had never heard of, gathering our information, sharing our social media stats and racing against the clock to put it all together.

And just before I left my desk for the day I hit send on our application.

A wing.

A prayer.

Two new friends.

Ann Img  and a whole lot of serendipity in the middle of the details.

And a few weeks later an email that is destined to change my life, our lives.

CONGRATULATIONS!  LTYM is coming to Lehigh Valley, PA!

I felt my heart burst and I simply couldn’t control the flow of happy, disbelieving tears that flowed down my face.

Directing and Producing alongside Lauren Hale and Kristina Grum  we’re going to bring Listen To Your Mother to the Lehigh Valley.

Incredible, wonderful, amazing women and my new friends.

I have waited for so many things in my life and this is one dream I am thrilled to see coming true.

I can’t wait to join Lauren, Kristina and the national team to bring the stories, the voices, the narratives to the stage this year.

And if you’re a voice with a story about motherhood to tell please stay tuned for our audition schedule coming in January.

We’d love to offer you a stage to share it.


I feel the need to share this piece I wrote about the audition process and the waiting I’d done between it and the announcement back in 2012.  Because sometimes it takes a little while for a dream to come true…but oh how sweet it is when it does.

The Waiting

“You wait here.” I said letting go of one small hand while extending the other to a smile that called my name and invited me in.

The Waiting.

I am used to it. It has become a part of my physical makeup like my eye color or the way my hair falls to one side without the use of a comb to guide it.

College graduation, Mr. Right and a proposal, A  Wedding, The pain of Infertility, the 35 weeks until I could hold my sons, all a lesson in delayed gratification and hope for something bigger and better to arrive.

It seems like I have spent most of my life waiting. The simple process of hanging on and holding out has become a way of life that wakes with me each morning and tucks me in at night. I call myself impatient, fancy myself spontaneous but the truth, the thing I hate admitting, is that I am good at waiting.

 I am proficient at procrastinating and I am skilled at holding myself back from risk lest it hurt or humiliate me.

Auditioning for Listen To Your Mother was a place where I didn’t wait; I just followed my heart and my voice to New York City. Sure, I felt all the feelings you would reading my own words in front of three women that I was meeting for the first time, but in the middle of my 2 and half minutes, I  took a moment , took a breath and just listened to myself talk about my sons.

 I focused on the single thought that while I was here, my stomach up near my heart, my heart up near my throat, the two boys I had waited for were right outside the closed door.

Waiting for me.

I pictured their faces and their tap dance routine on the wooden floor of the studio as I read. I let their smiles float up to the surface of my mind and knew that they had no idea what I was doing in that space. The simple explanation of “mommy is reading her writing” completely lost on the massive imagination inside a 4 yr old mind. I reminded myself that they were more excited about the train ride from Secaucus and the thought of eating Sabrett’s hot dogs when I emerged from this room.

But still, they waited, for me.

When I was done, they rushed to my arms yelling “Mommy! Can we get a pretzel now?” without knowing that I had left a heap of my love for them in that room, in the hands of those three women with the three smiles.

In the days that would follow, in those strange moments where I was swinging between hope and hopeless, I practically shimmered with anticipation, fear and expectation.

Once again I was waiting.

“I’ve been here before.” I told myself, “I am good at this and if the answer is no, the risk was taken and that is more than enough.”

So that when the call came and stole my breath, when I allowed the news to sink in, I knew that it had been worth it to linger.

The words so clear as I pressed kisses on the heads of my sons, “You were worth the wait. “ and “Thank you for pausing your life for a few minutes so I could read my words. I can’t wait to tell the world all about you.”



…and now I can’t wait to hear and help YOU share your own stories.


Why I’m Not Participating in NaBloPoMo

Many of my friends and fellow writers are knee deep in words right now. They are writing and publishing, commenting and let’s face it…not sleeping.

NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are in full swing.

I know of some courageous souls that are combining it and writing a  piece of their book (novel) on their blog every day.

Brave, brave souls.

I am not one of them.

I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2011 and have upwards of 60,000 words for a story saved in my Word documents nestled amid the hundreds of things I’ve written before and since then. Afterwards I felt the fleeting high of authorship. That heady sensation that accompanies a job well done, not one you need to be told about or need to produce proof or validation for , but instead one where you know what you are truly capable of.

For the first time in years I couldn’t hear the voices that always reminded me of my failings, my shortcomings or even my own laziness.

I had done it and it was enough.

This year I gave both challenges more than a second thought and then I simply decided I wouldn’t be doing it.

My decision was born of sitting down one day last week and having a good old fashioned cry about my place in the blogosphere. How again, my writing and words do not seem to be enough.

But this time, instead of signing up with the clear intention of proving something I remembered the heady sensation of 2011 and I went into my Word documents and opened “Confessions to Justin…and other Letters I Wish I’d Written” and started to read, cut, slash and add to a page until I had done that to three pages.

Then I hit save and closed the file.

I then went on to write something for the Creative Non-Fiction course I’m taking. I typed quickly and with my heart in my hand.

I produced a poem and linked up.

I tweaked a short story and sent it off in hopes of being selected to be featured on an online magazine. (It was!)

After almost ten years (10yrs!) of blogging I am tired of trying to prove myself. I know it’s essential to any kind of writing , I know it’s the way of the world, I know that I sound bratty. I don’t care. I want my words and my life to stand for something and for people to want to read them without me having to  prove a damn thing.

There are other reasons of course. I work a full time job outside my home with a combined two hour + commute every day. On the day I had the mini breakdown with tears flowing I realized that you just can’t have it all.

Well some people can. But I can’t. Not right now.

My fibromyalgia diagnosis makes it hard (and frankly stupid) to stay up until anytime after 9 pm if I need to get up at 5 am. (Which I do five days a week).

And then there is a reason there is a blog in the first place.

My children.

My children who get a sleepy kiss at 6 am every morning before we race out the door to go to work and the children we then pick up anytime between 5 and 6 pm most days. The children who deserve a bit of time with me truly listening, engaging and hearing them tell their stories in our evening hours.

The children who were born of every dream I had, of every prayer I said and the heart and soul of this blog. Without them there was no reason to begin to write. I might have found a place in the blog world later than I did like I did in 2010 when I added fiction to the things I loved to share but in 2005 the sweet, painful yearning for them and my failed attempts at having them built The Kir Corner.

So I’m not going to be blogging every day in November  this year but I am going to be taking it all in, weaving words in my mind and writing when I can.

And that’s going to have to be enough.




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