I was inspired to write a letter to my boys for now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, and beyond-

9 09 2013

Dear Henry and Kenny,

You are growing up so quickly. Now that you’re 4 and 5 you are trading our house for school, stroller rides for bus rides… and you are adding your teacher’s authority to your parents’ authority. You will be influenced more and more by those around you. Just today, in your sweetest and most innocent voice you said, “Mommy, I made a new friend. Her name is Annie.” I love that you are getting more independent. I love that you have new friends. I love that you love your teacher, and accidentally call her “mom” instead of me. But my darlings, now and in the years to come, the world will teach you what I don’t want you to learn. I can’t shield you forever, but I can let you know, in the clearest way possible, how I hope you will live in this world.

In Elementary School: be the first one to say “hi,” let the little girls go first, speak to your teachers with respect, tell people “It is nice to meet you,” as you look them in the eye, ask your friends how they’re feeling, let them play with your toys, and ask them what they would like to do, play with the kids who are by themselves, ask them to join in your game, and Henry and Kenny, be each other’s best friend.

In Junior High: ask the really tall girl if she’d like to dance with you, stand up for the kid who gets picked on, don’t pick a fight with your teacher, participate in every sport you can, do your homework during study hall so you can play with your friends later, help with the dishes, bring me your laundry and offer to carry it back upstairs, tell your dad that he’s a good dad, tell your friends “no” if they ask you to do something you know isn’t right, and Henry and Kenny, be each other’s best friend.

In High School: gently remind your friends who they can be, inspire them to make good choices, make conversation with your friends’ parents, be serious about what you want to accomplish in school, set goals and work toward them, get a job and pay for your own gasoline, before asking a girl to date you- ask her father, honor that relationship by being the one to set the boundaries, limit your touching to hand-holding, talk to me and your dad about what worries you, plan for your future, do what you say you are going to do, and Henry and Kenny, be each other’s best friend.

In College and Beyond: be the leader, show up on time, know what you believe and why you believe it, be prepared to answer questions about your faith, treat each and every person with respect, take time to reflect and learn and enjoy, invite others to share in your life, bring people home for Thanksgiving and Christmas who can’t get home to be with their own families, travel to other countries, learn another language, choose a woman who you are proud of and commit the rest of your life to her and her alone, be courageous enough to stand alone if you truly think something is right, and Henry and Kenny, be each other’s best friend.

Boys, young adults, men, my sweet babies:

I pray that you hold fast to Jesus and acknowledge Him in all your ways. I will unconditionally love you for all of my days,

Love, Mom


Getting ready for the 1st day of School

29 07 2013

school_supply_2013_2I feel like we went through a rite of passage this weekend: we took our boys school shopping for the first time! It was a special day for all of us, and even though one of the backpack choices was Dora the Explorer, it all ended well. (The end choice was Super Man.)

Our bigger-little one is going into Kindergarten and our little-little one is headed for his first year of Pre-School. This will be the first time that the boys are separated for the school day and it will be an interesting transition for our family. Henry will get on a bus for the first time. We will be on a set schedule. Teeth will have to be brushed by a certain time. I will have to awaken my sleeping beauties from their slumber. We’ll now experience half-days, parent/teacher conferences, and Gym class. And for Henry, his classes will be in Spanish. He literally won the lottery: forty children were signed up for the class but only thirteen were accepted (not on merit, but just because their name was picked from a hat).

I like the start of the school year. I like the excitement, the routine, the daily changes I see in the children. I used to be a teacher, and I think the first day of class excited me as much as the students. I can’t wait to look back on the end of the 2013-2014 year to see how my children have grown and how we have changed as a family.

A video of my 2 and 3 year old kids on Christmas Morning

25 12 2011

Some days I cannot even believe how blessed I am to live the life I’m living. Most days actually.

I’ve had an emotional day. I guess Christmas morning is always emotional on some level, but watching this video and replaying this moment makes me tear up again and again. Why am I so blessed to have two healthy and amazing little boys? Their innocence humbles me in a heartbeat.

I also had a scare today with a close family member – health issues that could be life changing -maybe even life ending. I am keenly aware that life can stop on a dime. I’ve been through that with my dad already; a heart attack in the middle of the night, no time to say good bye. But rather than stifling me, I am trying take every moment in and appreciate it for what it is.

I recently read a book where the heroine discovers the true joy of every day; upon opening her eyes in the morning she thinks, “I’m awake! Thank God!” I want that for the rest of my days – to give thanks to the Lord for being awake and to experience the true joy of life. This morning was a great morning to wake up; this morning I felt the true joy of Christmas.

Menconi Family Christmas 2011

18 12 2011

I love family chaos; in my eyes the more people, presents, dogs, food, craziness the better…. last night did not disappoint! We had 25 people over for a 7 hours of “FFF – Forced Family Fun” complete with our tradition of Italian Beef and Sausage Combos, and insane amount of food, and great conversation! Here’s a picture of my mom with all 7 of her grandkids. Wish my dad were there with us-

Thanksgiving… I know I’m a little late but I’m still thankful! What are your top 4?

28 11 2011

Okay, Okay… I know that it’s a few days after Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not still thankful! Here’s a pic of my 3 brothers and my mom. We had a great day together, and it just reminds me all the more how blessed I am. A few of the things I’m thankful for…. no particular order…

1. Health – I just had a friend die of cancer; she was only 44 and it affected me deeply. Everyday when I wake up and open my eyes for the first time I thank God I’m alive.

2. Family – my boys and my husband are the greatest joy that I could ever experience in my life. I can’t imagine living without them and I hope I never have to.

3. Freedom – having lived outside of the US, I can say with first hand experience that we live in an amazing country. I know that we have our problems, but so does the rest of the world. I can’t imagine what it must be like to spend your life in the military away from their families because they’re in another country. 

4. My job – I love my job and where I work. It’s a wonderful feeling to not dread going to work in the morning!

There are lots of other things… like a warm fire in the fireplace, ice cream, my dog Greta, friends and neighbors, a good book… (not in that order of course).  I wonder what will be on my list next year!

What are your top 4??

Family Pictures by Love, Audra Photography

21 11 2011

I spent a great Saturday afternoon with Audra from Love, Audra Photography. These memories will last me forever! Here are a few pictures along with some of Audra’s thoughts on her career. You can “like” her FB page to see more.

My vision for Love, Audra Photography is to use my passion and desire to capture the most memorable moments of people’s lives. I am inspired to work along side my clients by adapting to their ideas and budget, while using my creative eye for photography. I look forward to hearing about how I can capture your special day.For more information please email me at loveaudraphoto@gmail.com

Thank you!

Halloween 2011

3 11 2011

We had a great time this year at Halloween. Henry (3) lead the pack this year. He could have run all night long! Kenny (2) lasted about 4 houses until he wanted to be carried. Kenny would hold his candy in his hand the whole night; when we arrived at a new house he would drop his candy into the bucket and then pick out one new piece. He only had 2 pieces the whole night through! They keep asking to go again soon…. They were both superheros. Tye affectionately nicknamed the boys “Captain Kenny” and “Super Hero Hank.”