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Goodbye Summer, Hello School, Birthdays, and Other Fun (7 Quick Takes)


I never want summer to end. It happened much too quickly.

I also need summer vacation to end so we can get back to a bigger routine.

My emotions are always mixed at this time of year. Summer is my favorite season and I wish our children had more time to rest before it all starts up again. But I also see that it’s probably time for them – and all of us – to pick up the pace for a new school year.

Let’s see if we can catch the bus on time on the first day.


Our eldest son has obtained his learner’s permit! He and I drove around the parking lots together. I’m very proud of him and impressed – not surprised – by the way he approaches the learning process. It’s hard to believe that a kid who was driving a plastic train in the living room the other day is now sitting behind the wheel of our car. But here we are.

I hope I never forget how his face lit up the first time I handed him the keys.


We have a high deductible insurance plan and we pay out of pocket until we hit the deductible. This year, we reached the franchise six weeks into the year. I didn’t throw a party to celebrate, but I breathed a big sigh of relief. It’s so nice to see the plan evolve into a much less expensive PPO for the next 10 and a half months.

I also felt redeemed because I said I had spent a good part of the summer sitting in the waiting rooms. Apparently, I wasn’t exaggerating.

Everyone is doing great, and I’m very grateful for all of that – and grateful to have health insurance, of course.

If you’re still reading, can we laugh for a minute that I’m so excited about this? Can you say that I am 47 years old? Yeah me too.


Goodbye Summer, Hello School, Birthdays, and Other Fun (7 Quick Takes)

We celebrated this week the 12th anniversary of our meeting with our youngest son. He and I spent the day helping his cousin get into college. Even with all the excitement, the focus was still on our son.

I surprised him with one of his favorite breakfasts (including a huge vanilla bean frappuccino), we had lunch with two of his favorite cousins ​​and his aunt Maureen, and he asked for some dishes takeaway hibachi for dinner.

It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed spending time just with him. I am so grateful to be the mother of two amazing young men. So far, every age has been the best for parenting.

I didn’t write a special article for his “Gotcha Day” this year, but here’s one from five years ago.


Goodbye Summer, Hello School, Birthdays, and Other Fun (7 Quick Takes)

Twice in the past few weeks I have received text messages from people who saw churches dedicated to Saint Rita, who thought of me and who stopped to take a picture. I was so touched.

One was from the Sanctuary of Saint Rita in Philadelphia, which was on my list of places to visit. The photo I include here came to me from my sister’s sister-in-law on her trip to Nice, France. I loved that Anna took the picture and sent it to me.

Saint Rita is a wonderful saint and a powerful intercessor, and I would feel that even if we didn’t share a name. But she’s a special friend.


Goodbye Summer, Hello School, Birthdays, and Other Fun (7 Quick Takes)

A few weeks ago we went to the beach as a family of four. It was a nice week, peaceful and full of the usual beach activities. As our kids get older, it’s harder to plan, but it’s also more relaxing when we’re there.

I have wonderful memories of going to the beach with toddlers and preschoolers, and I will always cherish them. But we are now collecting other good memories that I will also cherish.

And we still have to work to earn the stuffed animals, eat all the treats, and do all the fun things we can imagine. Is there a reason you can’t eat Thrasher fries, funnel cake and Kohr Bros. ice cream? the same day ? (This is a hypothetical question. Please do not offer an answer unless it is with enthusiastic encouragement.)


Goodbye Summer, Hello School, Birthdays, and Other Fun (7 Quick Takes)

This week was also the 20th anniversary of the day I first met my husband in person. We had met online in July 2003, but emailed and talked over the phone for a few weeks before meeting in person on August 23.

We started our date with Saturday night mass at St. Mark’s in Catonsville, then went to dinner at Cocoa Lane in Old Ellicott City. After mass, I left my car at his brother’s nearby, which allowed me to meet some of his family members on our first date. Everything was very natural and easy.

We got married just over a year later, 19 years ago in September.

August 23 also marks the birthday of John’s parents. They would have been married for 71 years this month. August 23 is also the day we finalized the adoption of our youngest son from China 12 years ago.

There are people who would see it all as a coincidence, but I find meaning in the special nature of this date for our family. It’s so beautiful to see how God weaves the tapestry.

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