Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thanksgiving this year was INCREDIBLE.  I have SO.MUCH. to be thankful for.  A few weeks ago, it became obvious that we were going to be able to celebrate thanksgiving meal with our very best friends Paul and Ann Coakley.  Paul and I have been friends since our freshmen year of college.  As life has continued on, some friends fade away, some I barely keep in contact with.  Some friends I have hurt and some have hurt me.  Spouses have been added who either bring us closer, or who divide.  With Paul and Ann, our bonds have only grown tighter.  Our families have meshed together and I feel so blessed to have them in our lives.  As our babies played together and I heard their son instructed to call us, ‘Aunt Mary and Uncle Aaron and Grandpa Buckley’, (referring to my dad, which I just thought was SO wonderful)…I was overwhelmed with the plan God has for each of our lives.  That was a highlight of our weekend, here were some others…
The Coakleys and the Buckleys

Wednesday Night
This was the night Paul and Ann arrived.  We had invited a few people over and it ended up being several friends from college and a couple of new people J  We just talked and laughed. It was so lovely and a few times I said, ‘there are so many people I love in this room’.  It is amazing that God has protected and strengthened our friendships through the years, we now have spouses and babies, significant others and seminarians!  Laughter was contagious.

Gross Turkey
Thursday- Thanksgiving
I cooked my very first thanksgiving meal (but cheated and did Turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey).  We had Aaron’s parents, my parents, Aaron’s brothers and nephews and the Coakleys over.  Ann helped to encourage and instruct me as we made turkey breasts, wild rice stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, Cheesy broccoli, green bean casserole, homemade gravy and rolls.  MAN was it delicious.  Being that I am a ‘new’ cook, I have a lot of kitchen insecurities.  Hearing everyone say they enjoyed what we created made me SO happy.

A lot of food 
Friday- Frankenmuth
The day started with Tony’s, a restaurant near Frankenmuth Michigan that brags of it’s huge portions (a pound of bacon as a side--- yes, I said a pound of bacon).  As one review said, ‘The food is disgusting, so if it is large portions, it is just large portions of disgusting’.  LOL.  BUT, so disgustingly good!  Aaron and our friend Mario were a bit skeptical, but they ended up eating and love it.  We then went to Bronners, a huge store of Christmas Merriment.  We shopped and stared and stared and shopped.  It was quite wonderful.  After, we enjoyed a late afternoon in Frankenmuth.  This is where Aaron and I got engaged, so it was super special being back with our son.  If you have never gone, make this one of your destinations to check out during the Christmas season.  After, Mario, Aarons and I left a big early because I was quite tired and needed some sleep.
loving him some Bronners

Covered Wagon

The dude and I

So blessed
I love my tight little family!

We said goodbye to our dear friends after breakfast, Paul and Ann were Wisconsin bound.  Aaron and I got ready for our next visit, his very good friends from college.  We had fun hanging out with them and sharing in life updates.  They left around seven and with the exception of Mass, I have been in pajamas ever since!

A few reflections…
My husband is a prince.  He helped me host Thanksgiving so well, forgave me when I snapped at him, cleaned the kitchen and did the laundry.  He is playing a video game right now, it is much deserved and I just love him so darn much! 

The friendships that are like family must be guarded, cared for and nourished, and NEVER taken for granted.

God giggles at our plans sometimes but usually has something MUCH better in store!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I mean I really love it. I eat up all the Vatican documents that explain it’s awesomeness (while cautioning against the dangers), I dig the transparency offered, I enjoy the permanent record that ‘putting something out there’ in the social media world provides.  I enjoy the ways it keeps me accountable for the things I post, the words I write, etc…Heck, I love it all so much I give workshops on it.  I LOVE me some social media.

Until yesterday.

I have finally found a flaw in the system.  The dear husband got home from a hard day of work, and I had a lot to report to him.  It wasn’t a good day.  He said, ‘Can I please eat my dinner first?’.  I then did what comes naturally, I went on a tirade about how he doesn’t support me, he doesn’t listen to me, and I don’t feel that he has my back.  

To which, he lovingly responded, ‘then how come your facebook status said you were thankful for your supportive husband’. 

Today I am thankful for social media, my boss, my dearest supportive husband and the AWESOME teens I get to work with:)
 ·  · 19 hours ago


Well played Wilkerson, shaking my fist at you facebook!!!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday blogosphereJ

Friday, November 11, 2011


When we were dating, every Monday morning Aaron would fly to Boston for work.  It was horrible, I would have to take him to the airport SO early and then he would be gone until Thursday night (I really began to love me some Thursday nights).
Anyway, like every other Monday morning I took him to the airport. I got out of the car to give him a hug and a kiss goodbye and to give him his weekly 'love note' from me.  As he started to walk away I said, 'I'll see you on Thursday, I love you!'.  I couldn't believe the words had come out of my mouth so soon.  I was totally embarrassed.  But, at airports, that is what you do- you say goodbye, and I love you!  Anyway, to cover up, I paused for a moment and we both kind of looked at each other and I said, 'um...like a brother'.  Then got in the car. When he got to Boston that morning, he sent me a text message that said 'like a brother?'.  Probably one of my favorite moments of all time (though totally mortifying when it happened).
I adore that there is one man that I have said, 'I love you' to.  Just one. And that is the father of my children and the man I married.  I love him so much more than I did that day, even more than I did yesterday and I hope to love him better tomorrow.  And I DEFINITELY don't love him like a brother.  Curiosity?  When was the first time you told your spouse or significant other that you loved them?  Comment below or post about it~

Wednesday, November 9, 2011



One of my  original reasons for starting this blog was to begin a diary of sorts for our family.  So that one day our kids could look back on it.  And so, this morning, I was thinking about all the wonderful travels my husband and I were blessed to do in our courting, engagement, early marriage and now.  A priority in our lives forever will be travel. We will skimp on other things to be able to go places as a family.  The memories you make, the things you learn, are priceless.  And so, here are the travels we have taken and the joy we were able to experience.

We went on this trip a few months after dating.  We stayed at Aunt Donna’s House.  Aaron walked me through campus at GVSU, we kissed in the rain, we went to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and played chest and walked through the children’s play land.  We hung out with his friends and had a wonderful game night.  It was so wonderful and helped define who we were to each other.

The Hot Dog Place in Grand Rapids ( I forget what it is called)

On the Freedom Trail
Going to Boston together was probably, up until that point, one of the best moments of my life.  Aaron was working there and I flew out to meet him. I thought I was going to have to get to the hotel alone, but he surprised me at the airport.  We stayed at a super fancy hotel with a balcony overlooking the city.  We ate a super fancy dinner.  We walked the freedom trail the next day and lounged around at Harvard.  We eat New England Clam Chowder and  delicious bagels.  After, we took a train to Regis’s house and hung out with my family nieces/nephews.  I got sick with a flu bug and Aaron rubbed my head between spouts of throwing up (that is love). This weekend I was trying to get him to say he loved me (because I accidently did at the airport when dropping him off, which is an AWESOME story for another day) so he would ask for something, ‘Mary can you pass the milk?’, I would respond, ‘it depends, do you love me?’

Cute Lil' B & B
We stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast, all the way up on the 3rd level.  We stayed in this wonderfully cute room that had little nooks and a slanted ceiling.  The place was a mansion, and you were transformed into a winter wonderland.  We enjoyed the day looking in wonderful shops, checking out rings, eating delicious food and drinking warm coffee.  We went to Confession and then Mass, then Aaron asked me to be his wife.  We met our friends for dinner and walked through the city filled with Christmas life and joy.  That night, Aaron fell asleep, tired from the days activities.  I stayed up all night in the hall of the B and B reading bridal magazines.  So happy, so in love.

Aaron and I took our first flight together to go visit our matchmaker Bree in Arizona.  It was so fun to fly with him and to feel so grown up.  That weekend, bree was the best host.  She made us little care packages, we ate so much delicious food.  We went to Mesa and Scottsdale (I think).  We ate at the cheesecake factory and worshipped at St. Timothy.  It was so fun to be so in love with him and with one of my best friends.
First Airplane Ride

Toronto was awesome. We went together just for a weekend get away.  Again, we got to stay in a super fancy hotel in downtown Toronto.  We went to museums, the CN Tower, ate sushi, walked a lot in uncomfortable boots, watched a movie in our hotel room, ate a delicious breakfast at a fancy place.  Plus, the second night we were there, there was a snow storm with the biggest flakes I had ever seen. I am talking snow ball sized snow flakes.  It was awesome and so fun.  We were so very in love:)

Aaron and I traveled to Kentucky for Easter to visit with my sisters.  We stayed at Theresa’s apartment.  WE got all did for a siblings date night which was AWESOME! We went to Mass together and drove home Easter Sunday

Aaron and I got to go to Jamaica for our honeymoon.  The honeymoon consisted of a few main things. There was eating (2 breakfasts, lunch, snack, fancy dinner, evening snack), there was drinking (swim up bar, bar outside our room, fully stocked refrigerator), there were massages, naps, swimming in the sea and other things that one might do on a honeymoonJ 

North Carolina
We traveled to North Carolina for a family vacation with our New Jersey relatives, who are AWESOME. I flew out first because I had vacation left and aaron joined me for a long weekend.  We did a lot of hanging out, a lot of ocean and pool swimming.  One of us did their fair share of drinking.  The last 2 nights we got to stay in a spectacular room with a balcony view the ocean.  It was simply wonderful.
Us loving N. Carolina

Right after I found out I was with child Aaron and I went to Chicago for the weekend.  We stayed in the fanciest hotel in downtown Chicago (this super fancy Marriot).  We got to take a train to  see the counting crows with a picnic lunch. We also had lunch with Theresa Metcalf, my best childhood friend and her husband Nathan.   We walked through the city and did some shopping.  We ate delicious breakfast.  The only issue is morning sickness was kickin it in full gear.  It was kind of terrible, I threw up the whole time. Lol.  The counting crows were great though.

We had a weekend free to do something together, just us, and so Aaron took me to a bed and breakfast in Amish land.  The B and B was perfect.  We enjoyed the sparkling wine and chocolate treats they left us with our initials on them.  There was a lovely claw foot tub I got to take a soaker in.  We enjoyed a dinner and walking through the old shops.  It was a nice, much needed, get away for just usJ
The lovely spread at the B & B

Then came the baby…and now we begin our life of family vacations.  BUT, we are still blessed and committed to getting away, just the two of us every once and again.  We are three weeks away from our first trip away since the baby came, with just us two.  Can’t wait to write all about it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

This was really good

...I wish I knew how to fancy 'link' it, but I don't...and so, just give it a read. You WON'T regret it!
Oh, I can be fancy! Click this! :)


A couple of years ago, my cousin explained to me that he is going to be a smoker forever.  At this point, him and his wife had been smokers for three decades.  He said the issue is that both of them smoke, so whenever one would choose to quit, the other wouldn’t be ready.  Then, in moments of weakness, they would give in, because the other was still smoking.  Anyway, I was so thankful when I heard that story, because I realized if it wasn’t for Aaron being a non-smoker, I would probably still be smoking.  But alas, the story now applies to Aaron and I.
Aaron and I have been talking about ‘getting healthy’ for the past couple of years.  When we met, I weighed about fifty pounds less than I do now.  How horrible is that?  And I need to make something clear.  I do not need to be ‘skinny’. I don’t strive for that ideal.  My ideal weight is about 160, a nice comfortable size 12.  BUT, alas, I am VERY far away from a size 12 right now. And, for the first time in my life, I feel fat.  I feel unhealthy.  For the first time in my life, I am embarrassed when I leave the house because I am trying to squeeze into clothes that no longer fit (though, thankfully, dave ramesy just allowed me to get a few items that fit). 
There are a lot or reasons for my weight gain.  Some of it is right after I had the baby I was SO HUNGRY, all the time (I think the nine months of not being able to eat without puking added to that).  In addition, I know I will probably be pregnant again soon, so sometimes it makes it hard to want to get my ‘banging body back’ (I always refer to my old ‘banging body’ when Aaron and I talk about healthy living, which is hilarious, because most wouldn’t consider a size 12 to be banging!  Ha- it is all relative).  But one of the hardest reasons is that Aaron and I enable each other. 
We talk about healthy living, we make promises to each other, we acknowledge that we need to be healthy for our kids…and then, one of us is weak.  Last night it was Aaron, saying ‘hey, how about an asiago cheese fry snack at 9:00 pm?’.   And even though we KNOW we shouldn’t, the idea is in our heads and we have no hope.  So, at 9:00 at night we are eating asiago fries and watching the Real Housewives of HOTlanta.  ARGH. It is so problematic.
At some point it has to stop- but I fear with our mutual enabling, it will be so hard to live this healthy life we are striving for.  The plan right now is to get me the XBOX Kinect (I HATE exercise for the sake of exercise, and my schedule just sucks for having the energy to work out) and for me to buy healthier things to eat for our household (our grocery bill is up by quite a bit because of it). 
Any tips as we shoot for healthy living? Or, to get us past this rut of unhealthy living?

Friday, November 4, 2011

I told you the awesome was coming...

So here it is:)
Oh I sure do love me some pumpkins:)

A Lot a Lot!  This is fun!!!

But a little weird as well:)


Best. Smile. Ever

I'm so handsome, I could be a part time model!

I love to eat ANYTHING in sight:)

Best. Busie. Ever

Thanks for making my super cool Woody Costume Busi!

I just love to stare at Har Har

Family- mommy looks like she has a baby in her tummy!  But she doesn't, it is just the left over, from me:)

Hanging with Grammy is the best.  SO MUCH LOVE

Happy Halloween:)