Capable of Greatness

Today is the first day of school here in town. My oldest is now a 1st grader while my youngest is now in Kindergarten. It’s unbelievable how fast time flies. I have to be honest, my husband and I are raising some AWESOME kids. I don’t say that to be arrogant. I know they are not perfect but that is how we see them.  I want everyone who comes in contact with them to see them the same way we do. But most importantly I want them to feel that way about themselves. I want them to know they are amazing and that their potential for greatness is limitless as long they always try their best and put their faith in God.

If you really want to get me in “Mama Bear” mode then put a limit on them. Express doubt in their capabilities. Tell them that something is “too difficult”. That is just not acceptable to me. How can you know what is too difficult for someone else? Even if you think it, don’t say it to them. If you say it to them then that is what they will believe.  Children believe what you tell them. 20170713_095113_edited

I recently saw this shirt in the girl’s department at Target when I was with my daughter. I was offended as a woman, I was offended as a parent, and as a former kid.  I would never buy this for my daughter, nieces or anyone for that matter. The word “future” on this shirt expresses a limit. What this shirt is really saying is “I am NOT capable of being a role model at my current age”.

I should write to C9 Champion and ask at what point in the future can one become a role model and see what they tell me. My daughter is a role model NOW. Her spirit, her tenacity, her strength are all things I admire and strive to attain. She is a role model to younger children as well as those her age. When she was 3 years old she broke her leg during gymnastics class and was in a full cast for a month. The moment her cast came off she wanted to go back, but I kept her out of gymnastics for about 5 months to make sure all was well. The day she went back she was jumping on the same trampoline she got hurt on.  I admired that. Not everyone would be able to do that.

My son is a role model too. I was focusing on my daughter because often I have noticed that messages on shirts differ between the boy’s departments and the girl’s but that is a totally different post. Okay, back to my son. He is awesome. He is driven, he is kind, he is a role model.

Early on I taught my children the importance of giving themselves affirmations. This is very important to me. I make them come up with their own and so what they may say differs daily.  Some of the constant ones are “I am smart”, “I am a good listener”, “I am a good friend”, “I am a good gymnast”, “I am a good basketball player”, etc.  I have them do this because they need to be able to say good things about themselves. It is important for them to believe in themselves. They need to know they are capable of greatness. My children and your children have the capability of being great at whatever they strive for. You and I have the capability of being great at whatever we strive for. However, with this is important to know that you must always put in a full effort.

Earlier this year the kids and I came up with the idea of making daily videos of them saying “I am capable of greatness”. They love it. My son really gets into it sometimes as you will see…lol. I have even caught them putting the phone in selfie mode and recording themselves saying it. I put together a compilation of some of them. During the summer we got a bit relaxed but picked it up again this morning to start off the new school year. Enjoy!

To conclude this post I simply want to say. Children are amazing and should feel that way about themselves. They are not our future but our NOW!!


Squeeze the Day

Do you ever sit around in the evening and feel that you have accomplished nothing that day? Mostly likely you probably haven’t, lol. So what do you do now? Vow to yourself to take advantage of the next day, and the one after that.

Make your thoughts and ideas come to fruition. That is something that only you have the power to do.  Squeeze the day as the picture says. Make the most out of your day.  Do you keep thinking about cleaning out that drawer in the kitchen (we all have one)?  Well, clean it out.  Do you have an idea for a blog post? Well, write it.  Have you been putting off that phone call to a friend?  Well, make it. When you finish that then do something else.  Just don’t let another day go by where you feel like you have accomplished nothing.


Marital Monday: Adjectives

An adjective is defined as a word used to describe a person, place or thing.  Who remembers this Grammar Rock Video 🙂

The other day I asked my husband for 3 adjectives that he thought described me. He did and I was surprised at his word choices.  What I found interesting is that 2 out of the 3 words he used I did not feel described me. How was it that he saw these great qualities that I did not see myself?  I asked him if he was just being nice and he said he wasn’t.  You know sometimes husbands tend to tell us what we want to hear, lol.  Maybe he chose those 3 adjectives because that is how he would like me to be, that’s a thought.

Either way, he did his job as a spouse.  Spouses are supposed to make one another want to be better people.  That is what I took away from our conversation. I want to be those adjectives that he used to describe me.  In fact, I was already in the process of trying to find new adjectives that I would like to use to describe me.  I know that sounds strange, but it is true.  For instance, one of the adjectives I have always used to describe myself is impatient. And as a result, I have always been impatient.  After all these years I finally realized that I need to change my adjectives.  I am going to start using the word “patient” to describe myself and start becoming a more patient person. Lets stop using negative adjectives to describe ourselves.

Think about the adjectives you use to describe yourself.  Ask your spouse or those close to you what adjectives they would use to describe you.  You may be surprised, hopefully pleasantly surprised, lol.


A Labor of Love

heart-1280525_960_720If someone asked me to define the phrase, “a labor of love”, I would say it means hard work you do because you enjoy it not because you will receive praise or any compensation for it.

For me marriage is a labor of love. It takes hard work as well as continuous effort but I do it because I enjoy a happy marriage and the key to that for me other than God’s presence in our marriage is ensuring my husband’s happiness.  I can not imagine what it would be like if I did not make any efforts to make him happy.  It is not something I have to do but it is something I enjoy doing.  For instance, I know my husband enjoys taking lunch to work rather than having to buy it. So it only makes sense for me to cook so that he has something to take to work. Do I always enjoy the act of cooking? No.  But I enjoy providing him with lunch to take.  See how that works?

Do you do what it takes to make your spouse happy? Do you put in the work?  Envision what it would be like in a marriage if you focus on making your wife/husband happy and they focus on making you happy.  It would be amazing. I am not saying your marriage will be perfect. Of course conflicts will still arise, no marriage is without them (if you do not know how to effectively resolve conflicts get some ideas here). But putting in the work and effort is a great start to having a more positive marriage.

Now the second part of this phrase is putting in the work not to receive praise for it. I do not expect my husband to go to work everyday sit at the table with his friends and smack and lick his lips after every bite talking about how good it is that his wife cooked for him. That would be ridiculous.  The efforts we put in should not be done for praises.  However, appreciation is always welcomed and should be expressed.

What are things you do as a labor of love? What do you enjoy doing for your spouse? Do you do it just for praise? Take time to reflect on the questions and ponder over your answers. If necessary make some changes and you may just be pleasantly surprised by the results.





Marital Monday: Sharing Emotions vs Sharing Information

I once read somewhere that, “women use words to share emotions, while men use words to share information.”

I must say I found this saying to be very true in the early part of my marriage. I have always found Rick to be a great communicator. That was one of the qualities that initially attracted me to him.  However, I don’t think it was until after we were married that I realized we use words differently. The majority of his communication was him sharing information, and the majority of mine was me sharing my emotions.

Before I realized we communicated differently I would often find myself getting frustrated. There were times where I would even feel a disconnect because I would notice something would be on his mind but when I asked him his response would be “no, nothing is wrong” and after a lot of pestering then perhaps he would just admit to being tired.  Now, Rick knows he married a social worker and it is my job to study, observe, and talk about issues.  So I would wonder what the problem could be which would quickly turn into ‘it must be me’ because if it wasn’t then he would tell me what was on his mind.

However, that wouldn’t be the case at all. After he realized how much I internalized his lack of communication he would tell me what the problem really was, which was usually just stress. Sometimes it would be work related and other times just the stress of being the head of household.  I can imagine how difficult it must be at times to head a household. You go from just taking care of yourself to now a wife, and in time children.

Why couldn’t he just tell me that to begin with?  Because that was not what he typically used his words to communicate. He used words to share information.

Over the years this has changed. We both have adapted to the others’ communication style.   I share more than just my emotions and he shares more than just information. However, we are still trying to understand one another’s thought processes but that is a whole different issue, lol.

How do you and your spouse share? Do you find this saying to be true?



Marital Monday: Love, Love, Love, Love Crazy Love

I asked, “How did you know he/she was the one?”

She said,

” From our very first date it just felt like I already knew him. And every time after that it felt more and more comfortable.”

He said,

“I just knew.  Whether it is just walking in the park, or on the beach, she just fills me up.”

Yesterday was such a great day.  I witnessed the nuptials of my oldest and dearest friend, Melissa and her new husband Jonathan. I was honored to be invited to join Melissa in the bridal suite the morning of the wedding as she prepared along with her sister (the matron of honor) and her mom.  I have been an extended part of this family for over 20 years and graciously accepted the invitation.


The Palace

The ceremony and the reception was held at The Palace in Somerset Park.We started off the day in the bridal suite where coffee soon turned to mimosas. We talked, laughed, and wiped the occasional tears that developed in our eyes when we thought about why we were all gathered together on this day.

wpid-2015-06-15-23.33.04.jpg.jpegHair and makeup were being done and selfies were being taken when before you knew it, it was time to start to get dressed.

Melissa looked absolutely beautiful.  I was speechless.  I could not wait for Jonathan to see his bride. I watched as the photographer captured memories.  After a little while I decided to go with my husband and get a good seat for the ceremony.  The next time I would see my friend she would be walking down the isle.

Let me go back a little. About 2 years ago. I remember Melissa telling me that there was a suggested match on eHarmony that caught her interest.  They connected and went out. I don’t remember what she told me they did on their date but I remember how she sounded. When we hung up I told my husband that I think Melissa found “the one”.

Jonathan sounded like everything I wanted her to find. The first time I met him was about 5 months or so later.  We were winding down from my daughter’s first birthday party and some of my family were still here along with Melissa. She said Jonathan wanted to come and meet her here. When I met him I immediately felt his warm loving spirit. He fit right in and gave hugs (I am a hugger so this was important,lol).

Over the past two years I have gotten to know him and adore him more and more. What stands out every time I see Jonathan is the love and appreciation he has for my friend.  Melissa is a rare jewel so it was important to me that he could see that also.  I was not surprised at all when he popped the question. I knew he was truly committed and wanted to begin a life together.  Obviously she said yes, which led us to yesterday. 🙂

So there she was walking down the isle with her dad.   Melissa looked so beautiful.  Typically I look at the groom’s expression as the bride walks down, but this time I was watching the bride. I was watching my friend. Her last walk as a single woman. I took that walk 6 years ago and I  remember how it felt to be walking to the man I would spend my forever with.  I am sure she had that same feeling.

The ceremony was  simple and elegant and they were soon man and wife.wpid-2015-06-15-21.24.04.jpg.jpeg

After the ceremony and the cocktail hour,the fun began. The traditional dances were dwpid-2015-06-15-21.28.17.png.pnganced while I watched as they relished in their moment. I had the privilege of saying the blessing at the reception. This was my blessing to them.

“Heavenly Father,

We gather here now to celebrate the love and commitment of Melissa & Jonathan as they share their first meal together as husband and wife.
Let this be the first of many loving meals shared together with their family and friends.

We thank you for the love, guidance and support of those gathered here today
We pray, their hearts grow together in love and unity. Teach them how to enjoy working together, playing together, and dreaming together.

Estamos muy contentos de formar parte de este dia maramilloso
Que haya muchos gozos, sonrisas and logros
Que Dios los siga bendiciendo pon muchos años mas

We are so happy to be a part of this wonderful day
May there be many joys, smiles, and laughter.
May God continue to shower you with blessings for many more years to come.


The reception was gorgeous but the highlight for me was when Jonathan surprised his new wife by singing to her. He sang “Crazy Love” by Aaron Neville.  So many people were wiping their tears, myself included. It was absolutely beautiful!!!  As a couple they are absolutely  beautiful!wpid-2015-06-15-21.21.31.png.png

It was a true celebration. I did not get to spend much time with Melissa, she had many people to meet and greet.  However, we did meet on the dance floor when the DJ played “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

The cake had been cut and it was time for us to say goodbye.  I found her and gave her a quick hug and kiss. I am looking forward to speaking to her soon to reminisce about the day.

I dedicate this blog to Melissa and Jonathan the epitome of a couple in love.

~Tricia     wpid-2015-06-15-21.22.36.jpg.jpeg

Marital Monday: The Empty Nest


Over the next few months many couples will be entering a new phase. Some of your children may be graduating high school and going away to college.  Others may be graduating college and have decided to relocate. Whatever the reason, when your children are no longer in the home you have entered the “empty nest” phase of your marriage. I am nowhere near entering this phase, lol. The closest I have come is explained in my post “Empty Bed Syndrome for Parents“.

So back to becoming empty nesters. Many couples do not realize the adjustment associated with this phase. For the past 18 years or more as a couple, your life has centered around the needs, activities, and interests of your children. Your weekends probably consisted of transporting your child to and from sports or other activities with friends.  Dinner conversations began with asking your child what’s going on at school.

Now what?

You’re alone in your house with your spouse again. The children are gone. You must relearn one another. I am sure your interests have changed from the last time it was just you and your spouse in the house. Well guess what?  Your spouse’s interests have changed also.  This is a pivotal point in your marriage.  I have seen many couples adjust to this phase easily and reconnect with one another effortlessly.   However, on the flip side I have also seen couples who realize that without the children at home they no longer have common interests decide to divorce after 20+ years of marriage.  It’s really sad when this happens. How do you avoid it?

Honestly I cannot answer the question how to avoid it.  I guess one way would be to maintain common interests with your spouse over the years whether you have children at home or not. Recognize when your interests are changing and let your spouse know, it shouldn’t be a guessing game. Listen to your spouse when they tell you ways they have changed. Appreciate each other’s changes.  If you do this now when it is just the two of you at home you won’t be like “who is this stranger, this isn’t the person I married.”

Also, have your date nights.  Read the post Steps for a Perfect Date Night for tips.  As you evolve as individuals evolve together as a couple. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

If you read the Empty Bed post I linked above I missed my son when he was finally out of our bed but it needed to happen so that my husband and I could reconnect. It was an adjustment. We needed to adjust to it just being he and I. We had to relearn simple things like cuddling with one another and taking advantage of it just being us. I imagine it will be like that but on a greater scale when we are empty nesters. I am sure the time will be here faster than I would like to believe lol.

Are you an empty nester?  What was it like for you? Share your experience with us.


Marital Monday: Ways to Deal with Stress

Recently I came across this great article at on ways to handle stress in your marriage.  Below I have copied the article How to deal with stress in your marital relationship.

Marriage comes with its own share of stress, and it takes a lot of restraint to not buckle under it.

However, you need to find a way to make sure that you don’t allow external issues like work stress, crappy friendship or dissatisfaction with an object to disturb your relationship with your spouse.

Stress can ruin your marriage if care is not taken. Here are five simple ways to handle it in your marital relationship.

  1. Address your spouse’s concerns: In marriages sometimes, one couple may overlook his/her partner’s concerns. They either become defensive or simply turn a blind eye to the problem instead of addressing it head on. To avoid letting things get out of hand, ask your partner what he/she might be worried about and look for a way to help them resolve this.

  2. Don’t play the blame game: Some marriages collapse under stress because the couple involved are busy blaming each other for one thing or the other. Instead of doing this, try addressing the main reason for the stress. Once you can deal with it, the rest is easy.

  3. Boost your partner’s confidence: There is nothing sweeter than knowing that your partner has your back any day any time. Trust is the currency of every relationship. If your spouse trusts you, he/she will feel more comfortable to confide in you and tell you whatever they are going through. This is a simple way to ease stress in marriage.

  4. Be affectionate: Lack of affection is another deal breaker that must be avoided at all costs. Couples that are open to each other about their feelings for each other are less at risk of falling apart due to stress. Try to be understanding and always put yourself in your partner’s shoe before you draw conclusions on any matter.

  5. Respect each other: Most times, as time goes on, couples tend to take each other for granted. The truth is, stress sometimes make people forget the importance of their significant other. Mutual respect for each other is a good way to relieve stress in the home.

Article copied from:


Marital Monday: It’s More Than Just Another Year

Have you ever heard the song “Anniversary” by Tony Toni Tone.  I have always loved that song. I remember years ago it was my parents anniversary and we were sitting in the living room. I turned on the stereo and that song was playing. Of course I made them get up and dance because it was their anniversary.  They happily obliged.

My husband and I just recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. We enjoyed the afternoon with just the two of us.  It was really nice. Something you may not realize is that my birthday is 8 days before our anniversary which is fun for me but not my husband, lol.

This year after celebrating both of these occasions I started thinking. I always get super excited for my birthday. I reflect on my past year and make goals for the new year to come. I am sure many of you do the same. However, when our anniversary comes we enjoy one another and reminiscence about our wedding day and it usually ends there.  I am sure many of you do that as well. I find many couples celebrate their anniversary with a dinner or a trip and then leave it as that. They go on with the rest of the year with just another number added to their years of marriage.

As individuals all through the year we are continually trying to make the current year better than the previous by working towards the goals we came up with on our birthday. What if we put this same practice in place in our marriages? Let’s try it.

Be excited! We must stop looking at it as just “another” year of marriage.  It is a NEW year.  A new year of marriage that you have never seen before as a couple. Vow to make it better than the previous year.  Come up with marital goals you will be committed to work towards to achieve as a couple. Make up realistic goals but keep it interesting. Have the attitude that together the both of you can accomplish the impossible!

My prayer for you as well as myself is that in this new year of marriage you accomplish amazing things a couple. You rely on one another, encourage one another, motivate and inspire one another. Treat this year like something new! Stop treating it like just another year.


Marital Monday: Love and Respect

I once read somewhere that wives want to feel loved while husbands want to feel respected. I must admit I often focus on the first part of that statement. I WANT TO FEEL LOVED. So, when I don’t get the amount of cuddles or tender forehead kisses I want what do I do? I get upset at my husband and question his love. How many of you do the same?  It is crazy that I do this because I know he loves me and is without a doubt in love with me.

What dawned on me was that while questioning the love I know he has I am not giving him the respect he needs. In turn, he begins to feel insulted.  I realized there are much better ways to express my needs. If I want to be cuddled more then I should sit closer to him on the couch and rest my head on him.  When I do this his natural reaction has always been to put his arm around me and kiss my forehead. Which is exactly what I wanted. See how easy that is! I did not accuse him of not loving me causing him to feel insulted. We are cuddled on the couch me feeling loved and him feeling respected.

Let me share this recent conversation with you:

(Background info:  My husband proposed to me at the waterfront in Jersey City over looking the Hudson with a perfect view of NYC on the other side).

(Scene:  In our home this past Saturday which was our wedding anniversary)

Me:  Honey do you feel like taking a drive?

Him: Where?

Me: To Jersey City

Him: What’s in Jersey City?

I gave him a look and immediately he apologized and said as soon as he asked that question, it hit him.  I  chucked and simply said that I wish it hit him before he asked “What’s in Jersey City?”

But that is where I left it.  I could have went in on him accusing him of not caring which would have led to him feeling insulted and disrespected.  That would not have been a fun way to start off our anniversary.

We went to Jersey City and sat on the benches where he proposed overlooking the Hudson and staring at the gorgeous structures of NYC on the other side. It was such a beautiful day! The weather totally reminiscent of the day we married which added to the delight.

Ladies, let’s try and change the way we address things. If you know and feel that your husband loves you don’t accuse him of not loving you. Approach the situation in a way that will leave you feeling loved and him feeling respected.

And husbands, express your love for your wife to your wife. We know it but we enjoy feeling it!