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Category Archives: Faith

Advice to a Younger Person

       I was recently at a luncheon with ladies who were all their in 50’s all at different career levels. One thing is for sure, all the ladies were supportive and happy just to take time out to enjoy lunch, and laugh with friends. This is the good stuff in life. Unemployment, divorce, taking care of elderly parents and loss of close family members are a few of the hits that have come along in life. Establishing and cultivating friendships are really important and it was so fascinating to hear how some of the ladies have been friends since diapers and others since their babies have been in diapers. Luncheons are so lovely, I may have to start a lunch club. Please listen to the podcast today to hear all of the ladies at the luncheon their advice to a younger person.

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I would like to offer this advice…

  1. Overlook more and focus on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is to lead a good life and to get to heaven. Don’t waste time arguing about insufficient stuff with a sufficant person. We now say this a lot…would you rather be right or happy? I’d rather laugh and smile and make a joke out of it.

  2. Jealousy is a waste of time. This world is big enough for all of us to fulfill our dreams, have all the money we can make and have all of our children become success stories.

  3. Take more movies of your kids and record their voices. You will be surprised how their voice changes. Keep your kids young and innocent for as long as possible.

  4. Make nutritional dinners and stop thinking that Oreo’s, gummy bears and Cheetos are good for your kids.

  5. Entertain more. Your house will never be perfect.

  6. Faith is crucial. Teach your kids to pray and pray with them before meals and bed. And stick to your beliefs out there!

  7. Love is everything. Say “I love you” more often. Say it over and over. Your greatest legacy is the love you gave this world.

Sincerely,

Trish

Drop the Scorecard

Welcome to January, one of the longest and certainly the coldest month of the year.

During these long days of January chores can become burdens. How often are we adding “scorecards” to our marriages, work relationships, and friendships?

In our home, we all like to walk the dogs on the beautiful sunny days, but when the wind is whipping, the temperatures drop and the days are grey we start up with the “scorecard.” I have been know to exclaim to anyone who wants to listen “It’s your turn to walk them, I walked them twice already today”.

 

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Who wants to walk the dogs when it’s cold out? If you have the ability, be the one!

 

Sincerely, Trish…Because folks, what else matters but love? Listen here.

Poor me. Recently, I heard my friend say..”this is it, I’ve had it with entertaining. I have hosted this person several times and she has never reciprocated. That’s it.” Keeping score. Yikes, made me think, who has invited me places that I have not reciprocated?

Folks, keeping score is petty. There is no such thing as 50/50.  Keeping score holds us back. Keeping score pits person against person. Be on the same team. Be the person who does more and that is your greatest reward. When you invest in your relationships, you invest in love. What else matters? Who cares who empties the dishwasher and hangs up the coats? If you have the ability, do it. You win by giving. Love is an investment. There is nothing out there more important than love.

 

Sincerely,

Trish

 

Happy New Year 2017

Before we get into our new resolutions or goals, it’s important to reflect on the 2016 and give ourselves some credit for things that went well. I pushed myself to entertain more, travel more and celebrate important dates in our lives. I started out having a dinner party a month but once summer hit, so did my motivation. But, I picked up on traveling. The Hotel Hershey, Montreal, Quebec and Bermuda were all part of 2016. Celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary was done in grand style. I’m pushing myself but I know I need to push harder. This blog and podcast also been consistent for over a year now and I want to add improvements to this too!

Today I bring back one of our favorite guests- LIZ!- because she is so bubbly and is a mother of 5 children.  She stays organized despite different schools and activities and is always trying to create fun space in her home to help her children thrive. Lately she has really enjoyed the added lights of the Christmas season and lighting candles at dinner. You’ll have to listen to her list of goals.

 

Liz talks New Year Goals. Press Here.

 

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Liz is always a source of why not you? …and has such a good spirit.

 

My list of resolutions seems to just come so easily for me now. As I try to live each day to become the best I can be, I feel what helps me the most is to trust more. To simply trust in the promises of my faith and believe in the ever after life. I draw so much strength from prayers and quiet reflections. I try to go to daily mass and that helps me so much in drawing closer to our Lord and the saints, especially the Blessed mother.

So for 2017 and beyond…Here is my list.

Eat less

Move more

Play sports

Buy less

Learn more

Complain less

Laugh more

Travel more

Plan a new activity a month

Organize

Worry less

Compare less

and most of all

Trust more

One step at a time, one day at a time.

Sincerely, Trish

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Hug more, Love more, encourage more…all lessons learned from the way Natalie lived.

 

 

Against the Grain

This time of year is so sweet- I mean literally. Sweet. It is full of delicious treats combining decadent flavors, that are hard to resist. Why would anyone choose to eat healthy, not drink alcohol and lay off sugar, carbohydrates, all dairy and processed foods during the holidays?

It just came to me. Go against the grain.

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Caroline prepared this amazing pasture raised roasted chicken with radishes that was simply delicious.

Advent is the time to prepare for the birth of our savior. If we are going to live our mission this season to truly prepare for His birth,  then why would we over indulge, gain weight, put junk in our bodies, feel uncomfortable in our clothes, drink too much and strain our internal organs?  A time of preparation, directing my thoughts to when I was preparing for the birth of my own children, and how I took no chances during my pregnancy. When a woman is expecting a child, she would not drink alcohol and fill her body with processed foods. A future mom will eat nutritious foods, fruits, greens and proteins, water, and vitamins . She will carefully ponder what to eat. I want to unite my heart with the Blessed Mother’s and eat like I would if I were expecting a baby, I want to prepare for our Savior’s birth the same way.

Inspired by the thought of uniting myself to prepare for the birth of our savior, I thought YES, I will change my ways this Advent. I will feel good about what I eat. I will connect with my body. I will eat sensibly and say no to daily multiple temptations out there.  I will refrain from starch, pizza, muffins, bread, crackers, cheese, candy. I will eat lean meats, lots of fruits, vegetables and salads. I will cut out all fried food and butter. I will practice portion control and drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. I will say no thank you when handed a drink and say yes to a sparkling water. I will feel the best I can inside. I want to prepare myself mind, body and spirit for the new born king.

 

Press Here to listen to Sincerely, Trish

Christmas Episode. Eating less before Christmas.

 

 I will say yes to Christmas decorations. I will prepare my heart, my home, and my body for the coming of our Savior. After all, the greatest gift I have, my life, my freedom to practice my faith, all come through Him, and that is the best way I can honor Him.  After all, a man who sacrificed all for us, deserves to be prepared for this way.

Shouldn’t we all be doing this? By choosing to eat good for you foods, you avoid bloating, regret and embarrassment. Shouldn’t we all prepare ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally for the birth of baby Jesus? But our society teaches us and children all the opposite. Most of us gain 5 to 10 pounds in 4 weeks.

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Lean meats, salad, golden beets…oh so beauty the bounty of nature.

Now, I am not a Grinch here, I am excited to enjoy some of the treats this world has given us. I love the colors of decorated cookies and all the sights and fragrances. I love the family recipes and the traditions of making the same treats each year. There is a time to indulge in gingerbread flavors, peppermint ice cream, and Christmas cookies…it’s on Christmas Day! The celebratory day, the birth of our Lord, the reason for my being. I will celebrate then, happily, like I do for my own children’s birthday. It will feel special, whole, and worthwhile.

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Yes you can make delicious meatballs without breadcrumbs and cheese….grind the herbs and ground turkey together…delicious!

This advent my spirituality is heightened. And it’s because I chose to prepare myself from the inside out for the birth of our savior. It’s an invitation open to all of us. All women, if they have experienced motherhood or not, can feel a connection to Our Blessed Lady by uniting with her during this time of Advent. Men also, out of respect for fatherhood and in regards to the sacrifices made for them by their own mothers, can unite in this holding off indulgences ( or even some) until Christmas Day!

Check out my Instagram, (poodlewalker1) I have been posting of my carefully prepared means. I started the hash tag #greensgreensproteins, weight came off, energy picked up, I felt more beautiful inside and that made me look better on the outside.

Sounds crazy to prepare your body for the birth of our savior. But folks, He is our savior for all of us, why not clean up our body for his birth? Goal setting and preparation just adds to the joy on Christmas Day.

Sincerely,

Trish

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3 Observations for the Holidays

     One thing I really enjoy about not only going away, but also coming back from vacations, is gaining a new perspective. You tend to come home with a new appreciation for all that you have and what you are interested in changing in your life. From the moment you fly above the clouds, or hit the roads, you are not in your normal surroundings and that leads to a brain stimulation. Now that we are home, and it is early December, my mind is opened and I have made these 3 observations:

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Flying above the clouds & you see the grand creation of this earth you wonder why trivial things get to you.

1. Fuss.  We all want to leave a wonderful example. How often have a heard someone say…”I normally don’t bother with lights or a big tree but my grandson is visiting this year!” or “my daughter is introducing us to her out of town boyfriend so we decided to splurge and have tenderloin for dinner this year.” All of this “stepping up” seems so encouraging to me. It means we are trying more because we care that much more. How easy is it to throw in the towel and not fuss or prepare our house because of the effort involved? Hey, it’s Christmas, the day the Savior the World is born….let’s keep on fussing, we have all of Advent as a time of preparation!!

2. Holiday Lights. There is no questions that the days are short, grey and dreary. Just when you didn’t want to go outside past 4 pm anymore, Presto! Christmas lights! What a beautiful sight. From twinkling icicles, to illuminating wreaths, the effort people put into decorating the exterior of their house does not go unnoticed. I know it’s dark too early but because of these lights on the inside out outside of homes it is so joyful to see the beautiful lights. I made sure I already drove my mom around to enjoy the beauty of various neighborhoods. You cannot help but think “be the light, lights are happy, lights brighten the world you up. Light always conquers darkness”. And always compliment someone who decorated, they put in an effort to make this season more beautiful and bright, they deserve a compliment! Sing it loud..”This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

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Hang up decorations, decorate the dogs, spread cheer…and compliment those who make the effort.

3. Greens, greens and more greens. Green is becoming my favorite color, full of renewal and life. The evergreen tree is a little reminder to “be green” and be true to the Earth. The Evergreen maintains all of its leaves and needles throughout the year. Contrasting with all other trees which cycle through the seasons gaining and shedding leaves in their own beauty. Evergreens are full of stability, strength, and a symbol for the Christmas spirit. Representing our faith as unwavering, especially to prepare for the birth of Jesus.  The natural aroma of pine will immediately uplift you, make you take an extra deep breath, and enjoy the season we are lucky enough to share.

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Fuss for your family and friends. It’s Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Table Notes

“There’s a little note for you on the kitchen table”

     In this busy, high tech world, I find myself missing the little notes left on the kitchen table. Like many of you, our little family has a group text in which we correspond throughout the day. The group texts read usually something like this…I should be home regular time….don’t forget about the event this Thursday night…and are you working this Saturday? Text messages are incredible. Fast, up to the minute, convenient, easy, and you can personalize with emojis.

     Yet I know nothing beats walking into your home after a long day and finding a little note. It usually would come in the form of a quick scribble on the back on an envelope. Many times, its a simple reminder of an upcoming appointment or simply letting you know who called.

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     The little kitchen note was always there to welcome you when no one was at home. You know you could always grab the latest whereabouts on the kitchen table. “Dinner in crock pot. Be back soon.” or “Dad working late, does not need dinner.” You did not need to sign your name because your handwriting gave it away. Oh, and how slighted you would feel if you came home and no one was home and there was no kitchen note! Now that was a clear disappointment! You can almost hear the follow up when the first person arrived home…”Where is everybody? No one left a note!”

     The other day, I woke up to a beautiful little note waiting for me on the kitchen table. I was so touched. It was from my daughter Caroline. She noticed things I was doing to make myself better. She didn’t text me her observation, she left me a little note on the kitchen table. The message was so much more potent and compelling than any text message because it was hand written. What a beautiful way to begin my day with that little note. It made me think of how much I value the little kitchen notes and the preciousness of the family. We can talk, we can text but when we write a little note with butter and coffee stains on it…it commands a little more emotion.

    Never miss a chance to write a little note and leave it on the kitchen table.

Sincerely, Trish

Split this Dish

    Last night we went out for dinner to Bonefish Grill. I understand we are to patronize local restaurants but I do have a fond affection for this particular chain. It simply grew last night. You can always expect the white table cloth, a heavy strong silverware, deliciously prepared entrees and good service. Of course, we all are fans of the bang bang shrimp and since we were celebrating birthday week for our son, I did not want to over-indulge the first night of the week. I normally go for the tilapia fish or the scallops and shrimp but for some reason the filet mignon caught my eye on the menu. My husband looked at me and gleefully asked “do you want to split a dinner?” Absolutely!

     There is no question that the serving size we receive is too big in America. Yet, splitting a dinner makes you feel cheap, or silly, and you want to apologize to your server. Have you ever been out to a restaurant where you are charged a fee for split plate charge? You are handed an empty plate and charged an additional 2 to 5 dollars? You can also tell the server is not thrilled with you. But my motivation is not to be cheap it is for my heath and to eat a portion size that is not going to risk a tossing and turning night ahead and an extra pound on the scale.

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Here he is the Birthday Boy…find strength in lifting people around you up!

     So today, my blog post is a sincere thank you for the lovely and accommodating service we received last night from our server at Bonefish Grill. Evan was so happy with his portion of the filet mignon and had a side of the garlic whipped potatoes. I was so pleased with my filet and garlic sautéed spinach. No split plate fee. Of course the birthday boy had a full dinner. But, he will always be, at least to his parents, “Our growing boy.”

     I have a close friend who finds a great deal going to PF Changs for Happy Hour between 3 and 6 Monday thru Friday where you can take advantage of drink specials and starters and small plates for $6.00. “That’s all you need is a six dollar plate. It fills you right up.” It’s the perfect place for her to go with her daughter and catch up on her life.

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Busted in another chain restaurant, but Panera has great options. Thank you Panera. It feels good to let people know how much they matter.

     That’s my little tip today. Everything I do now I try to be more intentional. I use to think that once your kids are grown they do not need any fuss. Not true, because of Natalie and her desire to celebrate others, we are celebrating birthday week for our son, and tonight we are going to a local place. I’ll let you know if there is a split plate charge.

Folks, make the effort. Celebrate others. Never miss a chance to let people know that they are needed in this world. And never be intimidated to ask to split the dinner!

 

Sincerely, Trish

3 Ways to Celebrate All Saints-All Souls Day

Today dear readers,

I’m going to give it to you straight. We really have no idea how much our loved ones need our prayers. I’m afraid that our culture is moving away from the need of masses, prayers and sacrifices. We are caught up in posting about them (guilty) and not doing what is the most essential… praying for their soul.

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Save all the memorial cards of loved ones from funerals and tuck them in your family bible for safe keeping.

 

I want to share with you the….

“Top 3 Ways to Celebrate All Saints and All Souls Day”

  1. Have masses said for the beloved dead. We cannot ever presume that they are in heaven, they may be in purgatory and getting closer and closer to Heaven. Visualize being able to see the finish line but just need a little more…c’mon…let’s help those loved ones get there and have masses and simply pray for them!

  2. Visit the grave site. Fix it up. I have heard to sprinkle holy water around. Look up to the sky and pray for all the dead that are buried near your loved one. Take the time to show your children and others where family members and loved ones are buried. Imagine how much the souls appreciate your prayers. If someone helped you on earth, now we can help them by offering prayers on their behalf.

  3. Offer it Up! Doing little sacrifices throughout the day help you to get through the mundane tasks with a smile. What the world sees as unimportant is often the most important to our Lord. The tedious, behind the scenes, no accolades or honors kind of work. It’s doing laundry or the dishes when you don’t want to, it’s resisting something to eat, it’s making dinner after a long day because in making these sacrifices you can “Offer it Up” to poor souls in purgatory who are in need of our prayers. What high value is now placed our ordinary and wearisome tasks!

Thank you for reading and believing.

Sincerely, Trish

My Top 5 Memories of the Summer of 2016

One question I do not want to ask is “Where did the summer go?” I realized that when I was working and did not plan anything special. Summer would fly by and before you know it you would run right into Fall without feeling refreshed. Summer was always a special season for me as a child and thankfully one for Natalie and our other children Evan and Caroline. We formed new friends, new memories, new talents, went new places, but mostly enjoyed our favorite sport…swimming. Nothing better in my book than an outdoor pool.

The summer of 2016 was too hot. We simply had too many humid days. It was too dry. It was tough on farmers and even keeping our flower pots watered. But, like everything, we have a choice to complain or make the best of it. With the lack of rain, the lawn did not need mowing for 6 weeks! This was the summer that we had central air conditioning installed which was an exceptionally wise move.

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The Hotel Hershey was a real escape and treat.

There are certain things about summer that are tried and true. I know that swimming outdoors is a must do. The Farmers Market, the Canadian beaches right across the boarder, and the inspiration of other peoples gardens are guaranteed to-do’s.  This summer, Caroline and I had a glorious stay at the Hotel Hershey and so enjoyed the gardens, museum and pool. Hershey was a place I visited with Natalie, at her urging, and it is beyond a cherished memory.

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I like to look at other people’s yards and get ideas for flowers and pots each summer. This one belongs to my friends Mary Louise. Love the elephant pot.

I think it’s important to reflect back and celebrate the season that we have just completed before we move onto the next. I choose to make this summer memorable. I choose to not let it go by and regret that I did nothing special. It can be as simple as making strawberry jam.

Here is a list of what made the summer of 2016 special to me

  1. Birthday Dinner. This year for the first time, I gathered together 3 girlfriends who share June birthdays. We had a memorable night in beautiful Lewiston, NY and the laughs we shared and our shared attempt to be brave in a life that has thrown us all deep pains is a tradition I want to continue next June. The thing is, even if you only have a yearly dinner with friends, the year goes by and it’s something to look forward to and it’s better than ever taking the time to be together.

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    A group of friends who share birthdays in June.

  2. New Places. My last entry showed you that we explored Montreal, Quebec City and we also visited the Thousand Islands. Seeing new places and experience different cultures helps us gain new perspective plus it deepens family bonds.

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    For the first time, we visited the 1,000 Islands. I had no ides we shared these beautiful islands on the St. Lawrence River with Canada. Here I thought they were all in NY State. Traveling expands our awareness.

  3. Babysitting Clover. Caroline watched a cockapoo for a month and allowing another dog into our home for a month added simple joy. The joy of watching an adorable dog lie on her back for a scratch, jump on your lap for some extra coddling, whip a squeaky toy around the house and simply making friends with your dogs and having a new dog join you on your walk…was a highlight of our July. Dogs are so simple, so childlike, and such reminders of the simple joys available to us all on a daily basis if we just pause to realize it.

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    Here she is far right, our new friend that joined us for a month …Clover. Dogs are a perfect reminder of the simple things in life are the best…cuddling, playing and walking.

  4. Olympics. I’m not sure if anyone watched and tweeted out the stories about the unraveling stories and thrilling performances by the athletes all over the world as much as I did!  I mean, c’mon…what is better than watching the highest level of athleticism, learning about the host city, meeting the athletes unclose and personal, and seeing the human spirit just gets me every time. Thank you to Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps. Simone Biles, and Usain Bolt. The 100 meter freestyle when Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak tied, and watching Kerri Walsh Jenning and April Ross win the bronze like it was a gold will stay in my memory bank.

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    I’m a big fan of the synchro swimmers, here is Anita Alvarez from Kenmore, NY !! and Mariya Koroleva.

  5. Blueberry Pie. Using fresh blueberries, and making a simple pie served warm with vanilla ice cream with your family…ummm baby….that’s good stuff. It’s the pie Natalie always made for us. I am simply continuing her tradition as best I can.IMG_6071

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    Natalie always would prepare homemade meals and treats for her family and friends. I push myself to make and do more for others in honor of her beautiful example.

    Summer doesn’t have to be the only season to make memorable. Let’s set some goals for the Fall now. I think the peach festival is the first on my list. Thank you for reading.

     Sincerely, Trish

Mother’s Day Reflection

     A couple people have come up to me and asked me how I cope during Mother’s Day knowing what happened two years ago. I wanted to share this reflection.

     I keep myself open to the messages from up above which maintain my faith and strength throughout my days. Last night was a perfect example. During the night, I was blessed to have such beautiful memories of raising Natalie flood me during her grammar school years. I was living the years that go by so fast in life. Natalie in her pony tail braids and wearing her favorite corduroys to school with her penny loafers. Natalie who was so obedient, cooperative, easy to wake and happy to go to school. It all came rushing back. What an amazing child I was honored to call our daughter.

    I feel like God was leaving me a message…your years with Natalie are inside of you and will never leave you.

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Natalie with her brother during their St. Rose of Lima School Years.

     After daily mass, I told our seminarian Robert at St. Rose about my vivid memories of these priceless years and he paused and told me such comforting words. No one has the “right” to be alive. God gives us this gift of life. No parent has the “right” to have children. We must be grateful to God for giving us the gift, the magnificent gift, of children. If we lose a child, it is important that we do not regret or lose faith over the situation we are now living. Thank God for all the happy memories that we shared and blessed us with having Natalie.  All the wonderful years that we were able to enjoy and love her so much here on earth was a beautiful gift.

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     Opening your eyes to a new perspective on this journey of life is so comforting. How wonderful it is to surround yourself with people of faith. Mother’s day is to be celebrated with a “Thank-You” to God on our knees for the honor and privileged to be a mother on earth. It’s important to love and nurture all children that cross our path. If the life we are given is not a “right” , why waste it? Live it fully, joyfully and gratefully. I know what a gift Evan Jr and Caroline are and what a gift it is to be Natalie’s mom. Happy Mother’s Day!