Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wow, how the Summer has flown by.....

I feel like the kids just got off the school bus with excitement for last day of school and now we are preparing to head back! I had so many plans this summer and I just feel that some happened and others did not!
I always have the goal to organize the entire house and it never ends up happening. We had so much fun going to the pool, staying up late watching movies and traveling that it did not seem like a huge priority to me. I figured it would wait for me!
As we traveled quite a bit this summer I felt I was slowly losing my fears that I normally would have. We went to St. John and that requires riding a plane to St. Thomas and then taking a tiny boat that the max people to fit on the boat was 55 with the man telling us to "make ourselves smaller" to fit another 55 on the boat for a 40 minute ride to the island. I just sat there and prayed that first we would not sink and second that I would be able to grab my children and learn to swim a good mile or two to get to land. We made it to shore and had a wonderful time thanks to our neighbors that we went with and their timeshare that they so graciously shared with us for the week.
So I wanted to update my blog and let you know how my year without fear is here it is in a nutshell..... elevators, no big deal anymore, planes....still not a huge fan but no panicking when the plane is taking off and I am having a stare down contest with the stewardess trying to read her face for a trouble sign! Being alone....this was a big one for me and now I feel I sometimes prefer to be by myself, especially when I am venturing out in a new city to find a target :). Fear of failing at things....not so much a problem anymore, if I fail I like trying to figure out a way to make it work instead. Fear of speaking to people I don't I try to go out of my way to find people and know their January starts a new blog for this one!
I even took a new job at a new school where I only really knew one sweet friend before I entered the door. As I was anxious about this job, God kept telling me to trust Him and things have come together so easily. I feel now that my life is so much more free to not worry or stress and I can be myself.
As the summer comes to a close I have some new goals for the upcoming school year.....
- To not take on more volunteer jobs than I can possibly juggle.
- To really make my husband and kids a top priority and not let other things that I think are worthy things to do get in the way.
- To give 110% of myself in the things that I do commit to.
- To memorize scripture and lots of it.
- To stop and enjoy the moments in life and don't rush through everything!

As I look at the picture above I think how God created this world for us to enjoy and yet sometimes we let life happen around us and not take the time to notice what is truly around us.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger
1930 - 2011

My husband and I had the great honor and privilege to attend Mr. Eagleburger's Memorial Service yesterday at Arlington Cemetery. Todd has been serving as Mr. Eagleburger's tailor for the past 9 years. So we would not have missed being there but felt grateful to be included by his sons. I can't say I have ever been to a funeral with so many dignitaries in the room.

What an honor to reach at the end of your life with people from both sides of the aisle (Republicans and Democrats) coming out to say what a wonderful man you are and how well you served your country. You see what I heard was that Mr. Eagleburger loved this country so much and served it well by his actions. What I saw was how everyone respected his opinions and thoughts and wanted to know what he was thinking about what was going on in our world today.

You see, when Todd would drive to Charlottesville to meet with him, he would stay and chat with Mr. Eagleburger and his wife about life and things that were going in our life. It was only last June in 2010 that Mrs. Eagleburger suffered a heart attack suddenly and died. That was a hard funeral to attend in watching Mr. Eagleburger honor his wife with his words of affection.

But yesterday, he was honored, with other peoples words of affection for him. As I sat there and watched Ted Koppel, Colin Powell enter the church and listen to James A. Baker, III, Henry Kissinger, Robert Gates and Hilary Clinton talk of how he made such an impact on our world it amazed me to have a small part of this man in our lives.

You see, Todd always had a funny little story to tell me about his visits with Mr. Eagleburger and on the Saturday morning that his sons Drew and Jason called Todd to let him know that he had passed we just sat there with tears in our eyes and heaviness in our hearts.

It is sad to see the great men of history die. It is hard to see men that served and protected our country as I was a child die or grow old. I know that happens with time, but you almost wish you could bottle their wisdom so you can pass it down to the next generation.

I will always remember him, what an impact he made on our lives. He was always in Todd's corner, routing for him, encouraging him to press on.

On the back of the program was a saying that even he said to Hilary Clinton when she called to get advice from him about taking the position of Secretary of State. This saying describes Mr. Eagleburger's personality and his thought process. A saying to not forget....

"As you travel on through life my friend, whatever be your goal. Keep your eye upon the donut...and not upon the hole."

Friday, June 3, 2011


I can't wait for the kids to get out of school and summer to begin! I am counting down the days (10 more to go) is why I love SUMMER!

- Sleeping past 6:30 AM!
- NO HOMEWORK!!!!!! (Funny how I am not in school and I'm still happy about no homework)
- Going to the neighborhood pool and the kids playing with all their school friends and I get to chat with all my friends!
- Reading lots of books! I love a good book and mostly in the summer I read fiction and just get caught up in the characters.
- Going to the beach. I love to go with my husband to VA Beach during the week, he likes to surf and we sit and watch. I could live there!
- Getting ice cream at night with friends or my neighbors! We love Gelati Celesti!
- Wearing flip flops and sundresses!
- Going to the library with my children. I love it, but they do not like their mama making them pick out books and read for 30 minutes each day.
- Visiting NYC with my husband for his business trip. It's work but we add one day of fun in!
- Pedicures and Manicures all summer long.
- Grilling out! I love the smell of meat on grill and veggies in the steamer.
- Fresh fruit especially peaches that when you bite into them the juice runs down your mouth.
- The smell of suntan oil!
- The cool air-condition in the house when you come in from outside.
- Seeing family and friends that live out of town.
- Busch Gardens and Water Country season passes!
- Wearing white pants and white capris. I am one of those who only wears it after Memorial Day and stop wearing it after Labor Day. (I know old school)
- Movie night with my kids during the week! I do not watch much TV during the school year but when school is out we watch lots of movies.
- Watching BIG BROTHER! I know trash, but I am addicted!

In addition to all those this summer brings new things to love.....
- Going on a girls road trip to Ohio for a ThirtyOne Conference!
- Planning my 35th Birthday Party at this place! And inviting all the important people in my life!
- Getting to spend 5 days with my sweet little niece!
- Home Renovations!

So bring on the sunshine and unsweetened tea! I am anxiously waiting!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Recently at our church we have been focusing on missions. This past Sunday they had a table set up with all these pictures and info on children in different countries that you could sponsor. I was so excited to pick out a child, but before I got to the table Todd had one already in his hand.

You see when I was a little girl I would save all my change that I would earn or find and then one day I gave it to my mom to ask her to buy the little girl on the TV that Sally Struthers was in the commercial with. I really wanted to adopt!

Well, adoption is not on Todd's heart so this is a way we can compromise. There is is a ministry called Compassion. You can select a child and for $38 a month you are supporting this child. What a great way to help children. You get to write to them and send pictures even cards for birthdays and they will write back to you.

Our child's name is Inoussa and he is 7 years old. His pictures are so sweet. I so wish I could bring him to our home. I know that our money each month may not be a large amount in the states, but it is providing him with many opportunities in his country.

We as a family are able to pray for him by name and look at his picture. We have an extension in our family and in our hearts. I feel I love this little boy and I haven't even met him. The best is that he will know that a family in America loves and cares for him, and sometimes that is all people need to survive.

One day we will meet him if not on this earth, and what a great reunion that will be!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So I have decided to cut the "fat" from my life. You say, what does that look like? Well, for starters, I took myself off of Facebook about 4 weeks ago. I felt it was such a time sucker in my life and then I would be so in to what everyone else was saying or doing that I was forgetting that I had a life that already had enough going on and I didn't need to add anymore emotion to it.
You see, I enjoy catching up with old friends or even friends that don't live close to me. I love seeing pictures of their families or places that they have visited, but it all just was not contributing to my family or my work. It was a plain waste of my time during the day!
I decided that I was going to use my time, you know the time that flies by each day, wisely! I have been feeling like I should give up Facebook for quite some time, but couldn't release it. Kinda of like when you know you need to work out, but you keep eating bad stuff anyways.
So, off with the "fat" in my life!

I do feel somewhat "out of the loop" but I am surviving.... here is what I have been doing without sitting in front of my laptop reading everyones status updates.
- All my laundry is caught up!
- My house has stayed clean or neat more!
- My day runs a lot smoother.
- I have had more time to spend talking to my children, imagine that!
- I have read more books.
- I have a quiet lunches with me and my thoughts and talking to God about my day!

The list goes on.......
I guess the point is that I was filling my time with unnecessary things and information in my life and I need to cut back. Sometimes, it's good to take a time out!

Another way, I am cutting "the fat" is just trying to pull back on activities that I or my children are involved in. I really feel we run all the time. Sometimes we literally walk in the door only to drop our things and pick up things for the next event. I really want to enjoy my kids because they are growing so fast, and running constantly is making time fly by way too quickly!
I am so bad at over committing me or my family to things, but I am learning as I am aging that I just can't keep up. I would love to do everything and have my kids doing all the sports and school activities, but now we are picking and choosing what is best for our family and learning that family time is most important!

I am looking forward to summer to have good quality family time with little running around and being on a schedule, oh I can't wait!

Maybe I can cut some "real fat" out of my life by taking lots more bike rides and family walks/runs.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Exactly one year ago I lost my dad unexpectedly. He was only 53 years old and I never intended for him to die when I dropped him off at the hospital the day before. You see the surgery was just to go in and clean up the infection that was still in his body from his first surgery 3 weeks prior. I could tell driving my dad over to the hospital that he was nervous, but he was not feeling well, and just wanted to feel better quickly. As I reassured him that he would be fine, I got him checked in and went home to take care of my children.

He went into surgery around 9 the next morning, as we waited and waited, a two hour surgery turned into a 7.5 hour surgery. When the doctor came out to tell me that my dad was not out of the woods and that he would have a long way to go. I cried and pleaded with God to not take my dad! I made many promises to the Lord, sort of like deals with God. As I called my brother to tell him to come down from PA, crying in the hospital waiting room. My brother said he was going to finish up work and leave. As I packed up my children at 7pm to go home for baths and bedtime, I was upset leaving my dad at the hospital. Around 9 I received a phone call from the nurse to tell me that my dad was doing well! My brother arrived at midnight. We went to bed exhausted!

Around 3 am my cell phone was ringing.....never a good sign! As I made my husband answer it, because I was too scared! He heard the news we were dad had passed away. As I walked downstairs to where my brother lay asleep, I woke him up with the sad news.
We got dressed and went to the hospital to see my dad's body. That was a really hard thing to do, I felt like I was going to pass out as well as throw up all over the place. But when I walked into his room, there was a strange peace that hovered our room. It wasn't the way my dad looked because he really did not look that well, but it was a calming over my body.
Maybe I was in shock, or disbelief that just a few short hours earlier the nurse had phoned and said he was doing well.

As we planned for my dad's funeral, I was making decisions that I never thought I would be doing at 33. But I still felt the presences of the Lord with me and a calmness that I could muster up the courage to make those plans.
He's memorial service was held on May 1st, 2010.

Father's Day 2010 was a hard one for me. I cried all weekend! As I sat on my deck crying, this little tiny yellow butterfly landed on the arm of my chair. Now, if you know me, I do not like bugs of any kind. So instead of standing up and walking away, I just sat there and watched it. It stayed for about 5 minutes. So about a week later, as I was driving, I was crying again and came to a stop light, as I am sitting there waiting for the light to turn green a yellow butterfly flies across my windshield. I started seeing yellow butterflies every time I was upset that following month. When I went to visit my mother, she has a beautiful water fall in her backyard. As I was pointing out what flowers I loved that she planted around the waterfall, I noticed there was a yellow butterfly sitting on the flowers I was describing. So it hit me, I told my family that I think my dad came back as a yellow butterfly.........

Just kidding..... I do not believe in reincarnation. But what I was seeing was God reassuring me that I was going to be okay and that my dad was okay. That I needed to know that God was in total control of the situation and this was HIS plan for my dad's life. April 29, 2010 was my dad's day to come home to his final resting place with his heavenly father.

So, fast forward exactly 5 months, and I receive the news that my brother, who was 33, committed suicide. How I really questioned why? Domenic and I just buried our father and had to make all those difficult decisions and we were so very sad. I could not understand why he did this to me or to my mom. But what we did not understand was that he was very ill mentally and I believe my dad's death just really put him over the edge.

While we were at my brother's grave site for his funeral there was a yellow butterfly sitting on his casket the entire time of the funeral. Again, God telling me to trust Him, He was going to take care of me and pull me through this. As we were leaving the grave and driving away, there were two yellow butterflies that pass our windshield and with that I knew my brother had found peace!

This does not help make these loses any easier, it just gives me the reassurance that when I see a yellow butterfly that God is in control and He is just telling me to rely on Him for peace. You see God used something so small and tender and something that I do not like to be around, something I am scared of and run from to present Himself to me to let me know that He is present in my misery. So when I see a yellow butterfly now, I am reassured that my God loves me and is with me at all times, I just have to be still and notice His presence.

I really miss my dad and brother, I feel my family was cut in half, but I have learned from them and celebrate their lives for what they contributed to my life. My brother left behind a sweet little girl who I adore and my dad instilled in me a new way to look at those around me, instead of judging them for the looks or actions, rather see where I can help them or love them. For that I am grateful that I was part of their family!

Domenic A. Forlano, Sr. 1956-2010
Domenic A. Forlano, Jr. 1977 - 2010

"The Lord will watch over your coming and going both
now and forevermore"
Psalm 121:8

Sunday, April 3, 2011


This past week we have had to leave our house and stay at a hotel, because our hot water heater flooded our laundry room and kitchen. I know what you are thinking, how lucky are you! But really after the second night, and waking up at 6 every morning to get children to school on time and sharing a square room with three other people, it's not as exciting anymore!

Remember when I started my blog, I stated that I really did not care for elevators, well, we are on the 6th floor, so guess who has to ride an elevator everyday, sometimes two and three times a day? Yes, I did not like my start of the week. After the second day, I have just had to suck it up!

You see, I have had to laugh once again at God's sense of humor. I stated that I was scared of elevators and part of this blog was that I was going to conquer my fears, well, I feel this week I have been made to conquer that fear!

You see, when I think about it sometimes I don't care for the "life ride" I am in or experiencing. But I know I am not in control of the situation or the problem I am facing, yet it is hard to see the outcome. I know God is the ultimate controller of my life and problems that I may be facing. He is driving "my ride" not me!

I may be pushing the buttons on "my ride" but He is the one that brings it to rest and works out the details! I love when He shows up in the big and small things in my life!

"But blessed is the man who trust me, God,
the woman who sticks with God."
Jeremiah 17:7 (message)