Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Big Cookie

If you know me well, you know I love to play jokes.  One of the things I've always dreamed of is to create a show with various practical jokes on people like "Punked" or "Candid Camera".  I LOVE those type of shows.  I giggle uncontrollably during the entire show.  

Today I giggled all day long. 

It started out as me seeing a photo on Facebook of a really cool looking dog called a Russian Caucasian.  Then I started googling images of it.  I found one that looked like this. 

Then I texted a friend, stating we were adopting another dog.  

"We are thinking of adopting this dog too! She looks fierce there but that's how she smiles."

Just doing this had my nearly peeing in my pants.  Then I kept adding on to it.   Her name was Cookie.  Wasn't she so sweet?  I made it my Facebook status.  And my cover photo.  I really entertained the hell out of myself today. 

My mom's reaction had me laughing so hard I was crying.  

I still haven't told her I'm kidding.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Where Does It Hurt?

Been struggling.  Feel like there’s a lot of sadness in me when I am usually filled with such joy.  It’s not there all of the time.  I still get waves of immense gratitude and joy.   Overall I am happy.  But there is definitely some pain going on.  And so I ask myself, “Where does it hurt?”  I need to really confront the pain in order to fix it.

Beth’s birthday was yesterday. I woke up with such a deep sadness and at first I wasn’t sure why. Then I looked at my calendar.  I’ve been told the body remembers.  Seems like it is true.  I miss her so much and I am so sad I didn’t get to know her more.  I had no idea how little time we had.  And I think I canceled our last lunch date because I was too embarrassed to say I was short on money and knew I shouldn’t go to lunch.  What a shame.  I could have had another day with her and I blew it.  That hurts me a lot.  So it definitely hurts there. How I wish I knew I’d only have three years with her.  She played it so cool. I didn’t know she was very sick until she just wouldn’t let me see her anymore.   

And then there’s Max.  I was the center of his universe for 5 years.  And now he’s branching out.  He’s finding others much more interesting.  He’s fallen in love with his father which is awesome for both of them.  But it hurts.  A part of my heart is hollow where it was once overflowing.  I miss the hundreds of hugs and cuddles I’d receive from him each day. I miss him gushing with love for me.  That doesn’t happen so much anymore.  He’s growing up and maybe growing out of me—for now at least.  And all I can do is let him go and be the best mom I can be.  But this is where I hurt the most.  This is what is truly getting to me. 

This is probably one of the reasons why mothers have more kids.  Which isn’t an option for me. That probably hurts a little too although I've mostly moved on and accepted this.

We just got a puppy. She really loves us all a lot.  And it is sweet to be needed and cuddled with again but it is not really healing the pain. 

I spoke to Pete about how I felt last night. I told him how much it has been hurting me and how I am trying so hard to not let it get to me. 

This morning Max was much sweeter with me.  He gave me a big hug and my heart leapt.  But then he said “Daddy said I need to hug you more and cuddle with you more”.  And then my heart sunk. 

I’m pretty sure this isn’t a topic most moms talk about yet I’m guessing it must be common.  There’s so much that seems to be never talked about.  I don’t like that.  It causes such a feeling of isolation.  Which is partly why I’m writing about it.  I can’t be the only one. 



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Angel On Earth

In 2006, I was all about becoming a bride.  I wanted to look the best I could for the big day and had a personal trainer, lost about 30 lbs and learned all about the luxury of airbrush tanning. 

That's when I first heard about Melissa.  Someone told me about a woman who was really gifted at shaping eye brows.  So I went to a little spa in Little Silver to see about getting my brows shaped.

I remember meeting Melissa vividly.  It was if everything just stopped and paused.  I sensed that this simple appointment wasn't simple at all, that suddenly I was in the presence of someone special.  Really really freakin' special.

I've met many celebrities before; I used to work in NYC for a film company.  You know the supposed "beautiful people" that have it all and you imagine them to be so perfect in real life? Not so much.

In my entire life, not one "beautiful person" has ever stood up to Melissa's beauty.  If I had to describe her energy, it would be a mixture of pure white light and diamonds.  If I were to meet the Dalai Llama, I would expect to feel how I felt around Melissa.  It was as if I had entered a spiritual, holy realm and she was a Goddess.

Melissa was so gifted at shaping brows that she went from working in a tiny spa in Little Silver, to working in a much larger place in Shrewsbury, to owning her own extremely successful company called the Arch Brow Bar . The funny part is each person that shapes brows is called an "Arch Angel".  And that's exactly what she seems like to me, an angel.

Through my visits with her, we discussed many topics.  Always spiritual in nature, we both had an affinity for things like astrology and psychics and past lives.  It was like talking to a sister that I barely knew but knew completely. 

I recall often asking her if she had someone special in her life.  The answer was always no.  It blew me away.  How could someone so insanely special and beautiful not have found true love yet?

The last time I saw Melissa, was in 2010.  My niece Becky had just gotten engaged and she wanted her brows to be beautiful like mine were.  I couldn't wait for them to meet because Becky is so incredibly special too.  I  never saw her again but through Facebook we occasionally would send brief messages to each other.  The typical acquaintance type of relationship on Facebook.

Last year, Melissa started posting photos with a man named Craig.  You could see the happiness in the photos.  I was so happy she had found love!  Then she posted about him undergoing chemotherapy treatments.  I messaged her, saying they were in my thoughts and prayers.  She thanked me and said "Thank you, Julie. I'm where I am supposed to be. No matter what the outcome."

I was so happy she had found where she was supposed to be. Because really, what else is there?

Last month, I was thrilled to see Melissa posting photos of her wedding day.  The photos were stunning.  She was radiant, they looked so happy.  That was November 1st. 

On December 1st, only one month later, Craig passed away.  I found out last night, through Facebook.

This news touched my heart on so many levels.  I feel so sad for her, yet so happy for her because I know she is grateful for having found him.  She will now be a stepmother to his four children as well as her own beautiful son.  I know she will be a blessing to his children and I know she will carry his love in her heart forever.  Her favorite song is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Someday, they will be together again, with the rainbow as their dance floor. 

I am writing all of this because my heart needs to.   Because someone I met in such a casual way touched my life so deeply and I want to spread her message of love and light.  She is Love. 

I ask that you keep Melissa and her family in your prayers.  I know she will be okay. 

Just so you can see how strong she is, this is what she wrote on her Facebook page last night:
"As I read all of your posts and messages I am filled with gratitude for the outpouring of support for our family as we mourn the loss of my incredibly
courageous husband and best friend Craig Bahrs. I hope you all know how deeply touched I am by your words. I have not been able to respond to each of you individually but please know that I am grateful for all of your support and it truly helps lift me up. We fought this battle against cancer together and I feel it was an honor and a privilege to take this journey with Craig. I believe that love is eternal and the time will come one day when I see that beautiful smile of Craig's waiting for me. I am touched by the tremendous honor the Middletown Township Police Department have shown their Deputy Chief of Police."

And this is an article about her step-son Craig scoring a goal in his hockey game less than 24 hours after his father died. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Daisy passed away on November 12th, 2014. 

I am still not used to her absence.  I still say good morning to her every time I enter the family room each day.  I still go to give her the extra scraps of meat from my dinner.  I still look for her when I enter the room.  I still expect her ferocious bark whenever the doorbell rings.  And mostly, I really really miss her presence.   The absence of it is quite startling to me.  I wasn't prepared or aware of just how strong her spirit was in this house. 

Daisy was my third dog.  She was the first and only dog I ever owned with Pete.  We picked her out together in 2003, at a shelter in Jersey City.  She was left to die in apartment bathroom when the people moved out.  She survived by drinking out of the toilet for seven days.  She was 13 lbs when they found her.  Her age was unknown.  She grew to 100 lbs. 

At first, Daisy couldn't even stand to be touched.  She had been abused.  But she learned to trust us.  I have never had such an obedient and loyal dog.  I could teach her a trick within one or two attempts.  We could leave a table full of food in front of her and she wouldn't touch it. 

Daisy would stare deeply in my eyes.  For as long as I could stare back.  Her energy was calm and loving and peaceful.  She adored Pete most of all, was very patient with Max and loved me very much too. 

She loved asparagus.  If I cracked a stalk, she immediately knew and would come running in to the kitchen.  She also loved tuna fish. 

I realize I always guarded myself with Daisy.  After losing two dogs, it was too hard for me to get too close to her.  Its so painful losing your pet.  The lesson I learned, although too late, is that you really cannot protect your heart from an animal.  All you will do after they are gone is regret that you didn't show them just how much you cared.  I realize now I loved her just as much if not more than any other animal I've known. 

I will never forget her and know she will be impossible to replace.  We were blessed to have her in our lives for so long. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Every time I attend a wake, its the same thing.  I rarely muster up the courage to go to the casket.  If I do, I get away as soon as possible. 

My feelings surprised me this time.  I couldn't wait to get to her.  To see her.  To look at her beautiful face.  I could barely greet people, I just wanted to run to her.  I could have kneeled in front of her for the entire two hours and not have moved.  I have so much love in my heart for her that I couldn't possibly express it.  The closest I could come to describing it is that I feel as if she was almost a second mother to me.  She is part of my soul.

I spoke with my cousin, her brother Art, for some time.  He lifted me up.  I loved talking to him.  He reminded me of her.  And then he told me something that surprised me.

When Pete and I decided to move to Bradley Beach, it was because I felt my father there.  I had no explanation.  I just did.  Much later I found out that my father vacationed there every year. 

But today.  Today I found out he was on the SAME STREET I lived on.  And when he wasn't in that house, he was in a house one block away.  This blew my mind.

I am going back for the second viewing shortly.  I dread leaving.  Because seeing her face calms the storm inside me.  I look at her and I just feel love and peace.  And soon I will have to walk away and never see her beautiful face again.  I so hope I will be able to feel her presence like I did with my father for so many years. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

And Then She Was Gone

My beautiful cousin Beth passed away on Saturday, June 14th. 

What she left behind are hundreds of people who already feel a hollowness in their hearts because they miss her so much.  Friends who crave more of the laughter she induced, of the happiness they felt when they were around her.  Anyone who knew Beth, knew her heart was made of love.  She played it tough with a cool, nonchalant exterior.  But the underbelly of her heart? The softest silk ever.  She felt love deeply, she was incredibly wise and so humble.   And funnier than almost anyone I know. 

During one of the first few times we hung out, I wore a ring of a star on my hand.  It was a large ring. 

"What the fuck is that?" she asked. 
"A star" I said, a little bewildered.
"Are you the fucking sheriff?" she said, completely seriously.  

I was amused, yet stunned.  She was teasing me and we were just getting to know each other?!? I loved it.  I never wore that ring again though. :)

Being around her was like being around an extremely comforting energy.  She observed and saw everything.  Yet she didn't judge.  She accepted.  She loved.  She gave all she could give.  And she never, not even once, complained.

I'm honored to be related to her.  I'm thrilled she took the time to get to know me.  I will cherish every conversation, every moment I had with her and hope we meet again some day.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Today I had a mammography done.

While the tech was positioning my mammary glands in to the machine, she noticed the scar going down my chest.  "What's that?" she said.

"open heart surgery" I said, matter of factly.

Her eyes widened.  I gave her a brief description of what had happened.

"But..." she stammered.  "You look so....perfect" she blurted out. 

If she had any idea what that meant to me inside.  If she only knew the pain and struggle I went through to get to where I am now.  I wanted to cry.  Instead I laughed and thanked her.

Thank you God.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Tonight was special.

I gathered up four of the many library books we had collected earlier during the day and we climbed in to his bed.  I read him the books as he listened with wonder.  It’s my favorite part of the day. 

Later when it was time for me to turn out the lights, we did our nightly ritual of snuggling.  But this time he said,

“Mommy, will you stay with me forever?”

He’s never said anything like that before.  He said it more than once.  I silently cried.  He kept holding my face close to his and he felt my tears.  “Mommy, are you happy?” he said a little confused. I assured him I was. 

I could feel him wanting to say more.  “Mama” he said tentatively.  “Yes?” I asked.
“I love to be with you.”

Oh how my heart swelled. 

“Do you feel the love Max?” I asked.  “Yes I do” he said.

Nothing can beat moments like these.  Nothing. 


Monday, January 21, 2013

So so proud and happy

Mrs. S,

Max did great today with step one of potty training. Since he is a little guy that likes to be prepared we did not want remove his pull up without talking
mommy and daddy will be and he said you would say "hurray for Max." When we went through everyone who would be so excited for Max to say goodbye to his pull-up and go in the potty, I did not think to add Ms. Alexis and he looked at me and said "tell Ms. Alexis I go in potty." I was impressed. He also went through the sticker box and picked out some new animal stickers as rewards when he goes. You can tell he is ready. So tomorrow it's his first official day in underpants. We will sing the undies song in the morning m and have a parade. He will be on a 5 min. on potty 15 min. off schedule. Also do you have any summer sandals at the house that still may fit or crocs? It can be difficult to clean sneakers when they get wet, so if you send in a shoe we can wipe down and extra socks it can be easier. I'll let you know how tomorrow goes!
-Ms. Whitney

Friday, January 11, 2013

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Man

Max are you a boy?
What are you?
A man!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012