Our Family


Well, I'm not really a fan of trying to sum up my life in a few paragraphs. It usually makes me look pretty boring, and ends with me making up a lot of things that I don't actually do.  But here goes...

I have a lot of "attempted" hobbies- things that I don't really have the time or money for at this point, but try to squeeze in when I can. Dancing, yoga, wakeboarding, art, traveling and (drum roll please)... board games. Yes, I know, big loser. If I could find a group of people who would play Catch Phrase or Scrabble with me every Friday night, I'd be one happy lady.

I am also an only child, which I find important to mention right off the bat because it has really influenced my idea of family.  I decided when I was fairly young that I wanted 6 kids and I still feel the same way.  Bring on the chaos.  I feel like having 2 kids would cause me to be very anal and controlling, but having 6 would make me let go.  How can you even begin to control that situation?  You have to just laugh and let them go wild. 

I was born in Norfolk, VA and lived in a house on stilts in Virginia Beach.  I think I will always long to move back into a house on stilts.  There's something so fun and laid back about it.  As you can see, I have a strong desire to be more laid back (for a good reason).  I moved to Annapolis, MD with my mom and dad when I was 4 and lived in that area until I went to college and, soon after, got married in 2008.  

After I graduated from University of Maryland in 2006, I felt compelled to serve my community and was able to work out a plan to get paid for it (does that defeat the purpose??).  I joined AmeriCorps, a government contracted year of service, doing things like disaster relief, education, environmental work, etc.  We mostly worked on the Gulf Coast, since it was right after Katrina.  It was unbelievable to see such destruction, but also to see so many good people who cared for one another.  

When I started my first real job, I came face to face with a life altering question:  Is it normal to hate going to work this much?  I had narrowed my decision down to a communication/PR consulting firm, which was more along the lines of my major, or a non-profit for mental health issues, which surprisingly was going to pay me more money.  I decided to try my hand at PR and found that I had made a huge mistake.  

I don't know if it was this particular company or what, but I was a month into it and came home every day in tears.  I remember the day before I quit, I had gotten there an hour before everyone else (8am), stayed 2 hours later than everyone else (8pm), almost fell over when I got up from my chair because I was too busy to allow myself to go to the bathroom the entire day, and STILL didn't finish what I needed to do that day.

Part of me thought that maybe this was what the work force was really like, but another part of me said "This ain't normal."  I got back in touch with the non-profit and told them I had made a mistake, and they actually gave me the job!  I loved my 2 years with them, doing work that I felt really mattered.  I only quit a month before Niall's due date because I knew it would be too much for me to continue working.  

I would have to get up at 5am, pack a bag for Niall, get both of us ready, drive an hour to Virginia, drop him off at day care, go to work until 5pm, pick him up, get home around 7, make dinner, take a shower and go to bed.  And if I'm lucky, talk to Matt for 10 minutes. 

We decided to cut back on our expenses and I would stay home with Niall and do some marketing work from home, and also work on my wedding website for couples getting married on a budget:  http://www.budgetwisewedding.com


Matt is absolutely mortified that I would even mention his name on this blog or post a picture of him.  I get the feeling that when people read my blog, they think I'm a single mom.  It's just because I'm trying to do Matt a favor and protect his privacy.  This section will be more about "us" than him because of his intense fear of someone learning anything about him on this blog. 

Matt is a year older than me, but we met back in high school through mutual friends.  He went to an all boys Catholic school in Washington, DC, where my friend's brother went.  He played football all four years and has remained close with 5 of his teammates, who still live in the area and were groomsmen in our wedding.  

We both ended up at UMD together and remembered each other from high school, but we hadn't seen each other in over a year at this point.  Once we were reacquainted, we kept finding excuses to be around each other; he would come over to my house to say 'hi' to our mutual friend and I would go to his frat house with some of my friends.  We dated for 3 of our 4 years there.  

After college, Matt did AmeriCorps with me, but we ended up on separate teams and didn't see each other for most of the year- only when we ended up back at the base camp at the same time.  It was really hard, considering we had also spent half a year apart when I studied abroad in Ireland. 

We pulled through, though, and he proposed on his birthday, January 31, of 2008.  We decided to get married at his family's bay house in Southern Maryland because it's one of our favorite places to be.  Matt absolutely lives to waterski and we're lucky enough to be able to do it down there almost as often as we want.  For the wedding, we had a pig roast with a dressed pig, pulled pork and lots of sauces- Matt's favorite meal.  

Matt is funny in the strangest way, which is what I love most about him.  He doesn't say much, but when he does, it's so random (and usually awkward) that you just burst out laughing.  He has an amazing heart and family is the most important thing in the world to him.  Ok, that's all I'm going to say about Matt.


You know a lot about Niall already from these blog stories, but I've never really tried to explain his personality or what makes him his own person.  First, the obvious things:

Niall was born on November 22, 2009 at 12:01pm at Holy Cross Hospital
He was 7 pounds, 3 ounces
He was somewhere between 20-21 inches long (either the hospital screwed up or the pediatrician did)
He was jaundice (probably because he wasn't ready to come out yet)

Now, the juicy stuff:

Niall is monkey boy.  This boy is going to be climbing out of that crib by the time he's 9 months old.  We had to move the crib from the middle to the lowest setting in less than 2 weeks because of his over ambitiousness to get out of there.  He stands up using anything that he can manage.  He literally sits up in his sleep just to defy the whole notion of being calm.  He climbed up 3 stairs at 7 months... Need I go on?

He knows that it's socially unacceptable to fart.  I just love that Niall smiles and giggles when he toots.  I always tease him by saying "Niall, excuse you!" and he just thinks that's the funniest thing in the world.

He is unbelievably good.  This boy rarely cries.  If he cries, it's for a reason.  He is so happy and content, it's a miracle.  People warn me that it's not normal for babies to act this way and to get geared up for the next one being really bad.  

He is going to be an engineer.  All of the cool toys we have that drop dangly little toys off the top and Niall just wants to look at the hinges and screws holding it together.  

He has superhuman strength.  I literally cannot make him get into a position he doesn't want to get into.  If he doesn't feel like having his diaper changed, I am not strong enough to stop him from flipping over.  If he wants to grab something, I am not strong enough to pull it away from him.  He is just crazy strong- I've never seen anything like it.

He is good at sharing.  He takes his pacifier out of his mouth and rubs in on my lips, then his toys' lips, then puts it back in his mouth, and then starts all over again.

He has ESP.  I had a dream several months before Niall was even due, that he would be born November 22, 8 days after his due date.  Sure enough, I was induced on November 20th and didn't have him until the 22nd.  It was really bizarre.

He loves his mommy and daddy.  If there's one thing that Niall gets upset about, it's not being with us.  If we plop him down in between us, he's set for life.  He could pull and poke and prod and hug us all day long... and that's just fine with me :)

Ok, that was all written before Niall had turned 1.  Now that he is a full blown toddler, the only thing I would add is that he LOVES nature (being outside), being a big brother, and can't seem to get enough of Finding Nemo-- he has probably seen it over 50 times, which means I'm about ready to "accidentally" break the DVD :)

He is now most definitely a daddy's boy, and has recently decided that daddy is one of his friends-- as indicated by making the switch from calling him "Daddy" to "Matt".  As soon as he gets home from work, Niall yells out "Hey, Matt!!"


Brendan is our newest addition and looks exactly like his big bro-- it scares me when I look at some of these baby pictures and can't tell the difference.  He is a little chunker, though, unlike his skinny older brother (who was even skinny as a baby!).  I love kissing and cuddling his chunky little face and thighs.  He is also the happiest baby in the world.  If anyone pays him the slightest bit of attention or even glances in his direction, he gives you this huge beaming smile.

He is also extremely determined and has decided to start rolling over at 2 1/2 months.  Doesn't want to miss a thing!  Can't wait to be like Niall, who he is totally in love with.  The second Niall walks in the room, he lights up.  They are going to be best buds and I can't wait to watch it all go down.

Brendan also loves to poop up his back and explode all over me as soon as I go to open his diaper.  Enough said.

We love both of our little guys!

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to see more details/pics of this Matt fellow. Do you have any of him shirtless?


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