Sunday, September 30, 2012


Awakened at mind abuzz, too many thoughts crowded in too small a space, too dark a place..........humming, thrumming........not letting go, not wanting to let me slumber longer...........and so, finally at 4:30 I gave into the humming and thrumming and filled the coffee pot anticipating a day longer than I wanted.

I sat with my bible open, the ipod searching, searching for truths I knew but for truths that I had a hard time explaining.  I wanted to get it right, to say words that mattered, to have the God I love matter to those children and people I love.  I had it all planned.  The truth backed by words backed by love.  I would say that God is a mystery and we don't know it all and we can't know it all.  That God is bigger than we are, smarter than we are and He has it all figured out which is why we don't have to.  He gave us a book, filled with Him.  He gave us hearts, filled with Him.  He gave us lives, filled with Him.  The Holy Spirit came down and in and through us and now Jesus lives on in and through us and how amazing is that.  The church is not a building or a house or a place but it is US.  Right here and now.  I wanted to pray powerful words, healing words, encouraging words.

There was more.

But I didn't say any of it.

The prayer was forced and hurried and I was scared.

I froze.

I looked out and said words that were just that..........words.  I have no recollection of what I said but they weren't the well-crafted words of this morning.  They weren't words filled with power and love and truth.

It was awful.

It was embarrassing.

I just felt inadequate and stupid and questioned what on earth I was doing and who was I to be up in front of anyone.

And then I remembered the words of this morning, the morning that started too early and too soon and had me opening up my bible and opening up my heart to Him.............and I wondered who those words were for..............the ones that I planned to say to the little hearts opening before me at village..........were they for them...........or me?

That God is bigger than I am.

God is smarter than I am.

God has it all figured I don't have to.

Maybe my failure wasn't such a failure but a reminder.  A reminder of who He is.......and who I don't have to be............perfect.  Today people walked out.  Today there was a bit of chaos.  Today there were moments of silence and waiting.........waiting for something that might not have happened.  Today there was awkwardness.  Today wasn't perfect.

But it's ok.

Really, it is.  Just another reminder that it's not all about me and my words and my plan and my ideas.

It's all about Him.  Surely God can work through my awkwardness and my failure and my imperfections.  And I can move on and learn and not be paralyzed by fear.

May this morning and my imperfections drive me closer to Him.....oh how I want to live a life closer.......closer to knowing Him.........closer to living a grace-filled life..........closer, closer, closer to Him.  Pray that I hear His words and not my own this week.  Pray that I don't choke on my own words but be filled to overflowing with His.

Love you all.  Thank you for making this journey with me.  I heard from you today, on this day, when I felt so inadequate.  A text saying you were praying for me as I was praying.  A text filled to the brim with encouraging words - about my laugh, about my cooking, about who I am.  A text letting me know that you were glad I was in your life.  Words of love whispered as you held me tight.  Your words mattered to me today.  For today your words won the battle - they overpowered the ones telling to to give up, give in, that I wasn't enough.  Thank you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This Just In....................

We interrupt this blogger's break with an urgent report.  There has been another incident reported involving the harried, out of control mother from last year.  You may remember her - if not please read the report involving her stopped van in the parking lot of Fulton Drugs and the report from her driveway.  This sighting took place at the Meyer's Lake Ymca.  The following is what was reported from one of SEVERAL witnesses.

It was approximately 5:35pm, five minutes after the Little Pikes class had started.  A lifeguard came out to the hallway adjacent to the pool where there are three large windows where parents may watch their children swimming.  She looked around and asked for Francesca's mother.  Francesca's mother was sitting, hiding really, reading a lengthy chapter book.  She was NOT one of the parent's watching her children, in fact it seemed she was almost disinterested in what was happening in the pool area so engrossed was she in her book.  After her child's name was said aloud it seemed as if she debated whether or not to answer the call........then thought better and said that yes, she was Francesca's mom.  It seemed she was thinking, "Yes, I am Francesca's mom and yes, I am sitting for the first time all day and yes, this is the first swim class that I am attending alone and yes, I have just read one page of this MOST interesting book that I have been looking forward to reading ALL DAY but YES, I am Francesca's mom."

Francesca needs to go to the bathroom.

Of course, she does thinks Francesca's mom.

She was then witnessed walking, stomping really, into the girl's locker room with a smile pasted on her strained face.  While in the bathroom, Francesca, poor thing with such an unsympathetic mother, was heard whimpering and crying about not going back into the cold pool.  Her mother escorted her back into the pool.  It was said that she was muttering that Francesca WAS going back into the pool and it WAS NOT cold, in fact it was HOT in there and she was going back in.

And here is where things went downhill quickly..............

Once she was back in the pool area all those witnesses knew she was toast.  Her child had gotten her back into pool, no way was she leaving now.  Francesca clung to the side of the pool crying while her mother sat on the bleachers.  It was only a matter of time after that.......

Then the mother sat on the side of the pool...............

Then her feet went in..................

Then she helped her daughter out of the pool and sat her on the side................

All this time, all the witnesses watching from the window saw her daughter's crying and whining her mother's face got more and more strained from putting on a happy show (otherwise known as trying NOT to scream at her child and strangle her in front of real, live witnesses) for all the parents, teachers and students.

Finally, the mother pulled her child out of the class as she became inconsolable at the suggestion that the class was about to all jump into the pool, into their teacher's arms (or as the mother put it, when defending herself, INTO BURNING, HOT LAVA or so it seemed by the utter horror expressed by her daughter),  This is also when we learned that this mother had a SECOND child in this swim class........for as she was carrying her screaming, crying child from the pool her son began to cower behind her, refusing to jump into the pool.  All eyes were now on her.

What would she do next?

There were two crying children and 20 witnesses and she was already looking a bit strained.

Breathes were being held.

One man reported seeing her crouch down and he overheard her hissing/whispering something along the lines of "YOU WILL STAY HERE AND JUMP INTO THAT POOL OR THIS WILL BE YOUR LAST SWIM CLASS EVER.  I AM LEAVING AND TAKING YOUR SISTER AND YOU ARE STAYING HERE UNTIL I COME BACK AND GET YOU.  NOW GET IN THAT POOL."

He stayed.  Crying.  By the side of the pool.

The next time the mother was seen again was outside the three large windows among the other parents/witnesses.  She was sitting on the floor, NOT looking in the pool area, seemingly oblivious to, or not caring to see, her son swimming.   He, on the other hand, was happy as a lark swimming back and forth in the pool reported several parents who were concerned about his overall safety and well-being after being hissed at in such a manner as his mother did hiss.  Her other child, also, was quite content and happy sitting in her mom's lap on the floor.  This Francesca appeared to be doing quite well, happily chatting away and singing to herself.  At one point she might have tried talking to her mother, who was determinedly reading her book, but I believe her mother said quite firmly "do NOT talk to me right now."

All three family members were last seen departing the building at 6:40, at which point the mother was overheard saying we are going right to bed when we get home, it is very late.

And they did.

Almost beating the Lantz family's going to bed record of 6:55.  It was actually 7:00 when both children's lights were reported as being dimmed.

We have contacted the Meyer's Lake Y and instructed them to report any further incidents involving these children and their mother.  We feel it is our duty to protect the lives of innocent youngsters.  Upon hearing this, the mother asked who exactly was going to protect her sanity.

We hope she was being sarcastic.  Thank you for your time.  Please, you, too, be on the lookout for this crazy woman.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Your Prince Has Come.....

Just as God gave us beauty, so He gave us a Prince..........................

Just as we rebel against celebrating beauty because of what the world has done to the meaning and concept of beauty, we rebel against the Prince...............

We watch fairy tales and cringe as the prince comes to the rescue of his lady love, we teach our daughters that they don't need a man to take care of them, that they are strong and independent and it's fine if they find love but never give up all of yourself for love.............right?

To a point.

But, again, we are bowing to this world and it's definition of the prince and the fairy tale.


And I know I am helpless without Him and I want to give up all of me for Him.........for He gave up all of Him for me.

We take a God-given desire and twist it and bend it and distort it until it looks more like a disney fairy tale than the real life story of who God is and the story He wrote for us.  Of course we run after the dream, the fairy tale of the prince because it is in our nature to............we long for our Prince.


And I will teach my daughters of that Prince and I will teach them that He longs for them and loves them and has given ALL FOR THEM.  I will teach them that He will seek them all the days of their lives and He will be their strength and their comfort and their rock.  I will teach them that they are, indeed, helpless without Him, they can rest in His strong arms.  And we will watch Snow White and we will watch Cinderella but we will talk of the true Prince that would ride through any forest, would slay any dragon, would search endlessly for His princess.  


And today as I cry tears of sorrow and joy and loss and happiness, I will know that Adalyn Joy is with her Prince.  And because Her prince has come she lives on.........she is home.  The Prince has already carried her off to the castle.  Her dream has come true.  Her happily ever after IS NOW.


Happy Birthday, my sweet princess.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Savoring Summer's End (And a First Day of School Pic for Ashley)........

My beautiful girl on her first day...............excited to be big and apprehensive about the unknown.   We were just as excited and apprehensive :)

And today..........enjoying the sun's rays on our makeshift beach,

splashing in pools, 

wearing grins and bathing suits,

 eating lunch under our beach umbrellas,

giving the girls a sideway stare,

loving the life we were given for the day,

moving to the shade to read some books,

and hamming it up for the camera.

What a perfect day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


My girls are beautiful.

Have you seen them before?  Oh my, the sparkly eyes, the long blond hair, the sun-kissed skin, the mile wide smile of the youngest and the sweet beauty of the eldest............they are beautiful.  It takes my breathe away sometimes.

I make sure to tell them all the time.

They. are. beautiful.

It's not contingent on what they wear or the lip gloss that sometimes finds itself smeared this way and that on little pink lips.  It's not based on how tall, how short, how wide, how small - they are just beautiful.

I want to make sure that they hear that voice, over and over in their head.

You. are. beautiful.

When they are eight and some little kid on the playground says you're ugly or I hate that dress or those shoes are dumb.............they'll know better.  They are beautiful.

When they are twelve and a group of girls decides they don't look the right way or have the right clothes or decide to flippantly be cruel that day.............they'll know better.  They are beautiful.

When they are sixteen and that boy doesn't talk to them or DOES talk to them (which is scarier to a mother, I am not sure) and tells them what they do or don't want to hear..............they'll know better.  They are matter what.

When heartbreak comes and they look in the mirror and wonder why?  The doubt may creep in and the fear may come but eventually...............they'll know better.  They are beautiful.

I will take every day to tell them.  I will take each moment to tell them.  I want the voice to be strong and sure in their mind.  I want them to look in the mirror and know beauty.  I want them to look and see strength and love and, yes, beauty.

Today I saw a beautiful woman at the gas station.  She was in her 70s I am sure.  She had shorts and a t-shirt on, make-up, hair done............she was beautiful.  I would kill for her figure at 34.  I ran over and told her how her beauty caught my eye and that she had great legs.  She teared up a bit, laughing, and gave me a hug.  I saw her husband out of the corner of my eye looking over at two crazy women hugging each other in the gas station parking lot.  He probably thought we were even crazier when he heard what was going on.................but I am sure that woman doesn't think it's crazy.   She knows.  It feels good to be told of your beauty.

I think sometimes we miss the mark when we don't emphasis our daughters' beauty along with all their other many accomplishments (which I praise my girls for ALL kinds of things not just their beauty).  But who do we want to be the source of their thoughts on beauty?  All the magazines, tv shows, girls at school, women on billboards, boys who want to date them etc. - is that where we want their thoughts on beauty to come from?  Or do we want them to hear our words?   When they look in the mirror will they compare, will they cringe because they don't look a certain or will they rest in the knowledge that they are beautiful?

I have to admit so much of this comes from my own experience.  Almost every day I was told I was beautiful and still am being told that.  So most days, most of the time I look in the mirror and see beauty.  Not the beauty of magazines or movies or teenage girls but the beauty of a woman.  I see a beautiful woman who has joy and love in her life.

I thank my parents for knowing what this girl's heart needed.  I thank them for being the voices that resound in my head when I look in the mirror.  I thank them for all those days of praise.  I thank them because it led me to a man who says with sincerity that I am a woman that gets more beautiful with age.   I look in the mirror and hear these voices which drown out all the other images and voices that come from people that don't see me every day or know me or love.

Thank you so much, mom.

Thank you so much, dad.

Thank you so much, Joe.

Every time I doubt or fear or drown just a bit in my own insecurities.......................I do know better.  I am beautiful.

Take the time today or each day to find beauty in the women around you.  Don't be scared to tell them of their beauty.  Each time I praise a woman for her beauty I see her face light up - it's a gift to both of us.

Let's start a beauty revolution.............where each day we lift another woman up instead of tear her down.  Where we decide what beauty is rather than the media telling us what it should be.  Where beauty is celebrated not hidden or downplayed.

Join me?

Let's start now..........


Speaking of Fairies......

Dear Magical Fairy/Elf People,
           I have read many stories of you growing up and I want to thank you for all the things you have done throughout the ages.  I know that your main occupation deals with shoes and I know this must keep you VERY, VERY busy (it seems to be a very LUCRATIVE business as I went shoe shopping with my eldest just a few weeks ago.  It was the first time we had to go to a store without "gently used" or "discount" in it's title and MY, MY was I SURPRISED!  Apparently these days six year olds require shoes that cost more than my entire outfit does - including underwear and shoes.  We got out the door with one of the cheapest pairs, after signing up for a card and taking advantage of some sale and so on and so forth but MY, MY - so carry on, my elf gotta pay the fairy bills somehow :)  
          HOWEVER, I was wondering if I could take advantage of your FREE, NIGHTTIME services.  There is much work to be done around the house and yard.  Oftentimes I go to bed at night with the lawn not mowed, the laundry still in piles and the booth still not cleaned.  And much to my GREAT surprise these things are still not done when I get up in the morning.  According to the stories, if you have a great enough need, the fairies/elves come.
         I suppose I am writing you just to make you aware THAT THE NEED IS GREAT.  You's almost fall - which means harvest time, which means LOTS of canning - canning tomatoes, making sauce, peeling and slicing pears, making applesauce, all kinds of stuff - which is fun but time consuming.  And did I mention it's almost FALL - THE PREMIERE OF PARENTHOOD! THE PREMIERE OF NEW SHOWS!  There has been an absence of quality tv SINCE APRIL.............who can find the time to clean and harvest and do chores WHEN PARENTHOOD IS SO NEAR?
        So I beg of you kind, hardworking, efficient, AWESOME fairy/elf people..............PLEASE , PLEASE stop at my house.  We are eagerly awaiting your arrival and if you miss a night or two or forget to come a time or two...........BELIEVE ME, I is HARD to remember EVERYTHING.  But I believe that you can get here eventually.  Also, if you can bring your expert sock locator and matcher that would be INCREDIBLE.....somehow school snuck up on me and darn it if they don't require you to wear shoes, which require socks of some kind.  I don't think we have had a day yet of the socks actually MATCHING any outfit.  Since Sofia is still in first grade I see no problem with this yet but I imagine at some point she will notice the other kids have moms who make sure their socks match their outfit (although, she did REFUSE the Halloween socks that I tried to sneak by her, apparently she does have some standards.)
        In closing, I love you fairy people.  I CANNOT wait for you to visit our house.  I will spread the news far and wide of your goodness.  Maybe I, too, can write a book - "The Happy Homemaker's Elves" or more likely, "The Harried Homemaker's Elves WHO CHANGED HER LIFE FOREVER".  I will never take credit for your work.  I promise.  Just please come visit.  Seriously.  Laundry room is in the basement, I don't care where you put dishes or clothes as long as they are clean.  I am not a choosy mom, in fact I never buy Jif.

                        Love (and I will love you forever),
                                         Amanda Marie Codispoti

Monday, September 3, 2012

Parental Fail #314

Fia lost her fourth tooth just the other day..........BIG news.  HUGE.  At school Mrs. Frantum has a chart where you get to put a tooth sticker AND apparently if you lose your tooth at school you get a special necklace with a box where you put your tooth.  (When I was a teacher, a first grade teacher, I had a chart like that, too.  I started out each year strong with my charts and calendar and all that but then slowly as the year went on I couldn't stand the clutter and how tedious it was to do calendar and I totally ditched it..............this perhaps was a foreshadowing of my parenting skills and why Mrs. Frantum is Fia's teacher and I am her mom that tries to just get her to school each day.  Thank you Mrs. Frantum for being better than I ever was - I actually observed her when I was a teacher :)  Anyway.....

Fia.  The lost tooth.  Parental failure.

With Fia's third lost tooth, which was just a few days ago, we COMPLETELY forgot to put money under her pillow.  She came out and didn't say anything, just went about her morning and when I said something about her tooth she finally confessed that the tooth fairy hadn't left any money.


Was totally relying on Joe to have done that.

I asked are you sure?  She replied that she looked all around, under all the pillows and blankets and sheet and animals.  Nothing.  She didn't complain or cry, just had a puzzled little look on her face.  I felt awful.  So while she was reading and eating breakfast I went and dug around in Joe's change jar and pulled out 6 quarters and stuffed them under her pillow.  Then ran back and mentioned she might look again, she might have missed something.

Oh, she was so excited!  She just missed where the tooth fairy put the money, I think there was a bit of relief too.  I vowed never to do that again.................that parental fail #313, never would I forget to put the money under the pillow AGAIN!

Fast forward two days.

Another lost tooth.

Another day of finding a tooth instead of money.


We had to tell her that the tooth fairy was confused by three little kids on the floor and not finding Fia in her bed.  Other parents use their creativity in writing cute notes from the tooth fairy or what they put the teeth in or scrapbooking with the teeth.............we save our creativity to explain our failures as the tooth fairy................(Oh and we were babysitting a friend's baby and that's why all the kids were sleeping in the girl's room so the baby could be in Nico's room.)  We would try leaving a note tonight since they were going to be having a sleepover in the basement.  The tooth fairy would BE SURE to leave some money then.

Thank goodness THE TOOTH FAIRY remembered.

She doesn't seem to be the brightest fairy on the block..................but it seems the guilt is good for the girl without teeth because the amount goes up with each parental fail :)

Hopefully THE TOOTH FAIRY gets it right next time............we can't afford that much more guilt :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mommy Moments

Late afternoon on Saturday I found myself in the shower.............curled up in a ball........feeling done in and a little weepy.  My body was tired, my mind was tired and I didn't feel as if I deserved to be tired, me and my life of ease.

I hate that.

I hate that weepy part of motherhood that seems to come with the job.  Those times when it's just hard to be the center of so many little people's universes :)

And I would be completely lying if I didn't think just about every other day.......for just a moment........what it is I would rather be doing.  I love to be with my kids, I love hanging out with them, I love to cook with them and I even love to grocery shop with them - I waited for them to come home so they could go with me.............Joe told me not to tell other moms that but it's true and I figure I tell you enough horrible stuff that you will forgive me for loving to shop with my kids :)

BUT...........would I rather do laundry and watch Diego or sit and eat homemade salsa and watch Project Runway?


Would I rather play zoo for the HUNDREDTH time where the rules are many and the building endless or sit down with my new Jeffrey Archer book and a cold Diet Vanilla Coke from Sonic?


I feel awful saying this stuff, I feel as if I should justify it with a million other comments but well, you know me, you know what I love and who I love and you know these are moments and I want to reassure you that if you have moments doesn't mean you aren't doing what you are suppose to be doing AND it doesn't mean that you aren't doing it well.

I mean we all EXPECT our children to have moments, right?  We expect there to be melt downs and tantrums and whining and arguing and all those fact there are ages where it happens DAILY.  And you weather it.  You weather the weary times.  You weather the trying times.  You weather wondering if you will ever like your child, all the time, again because while you love them fiercely and you love them in ways that were unfathomable before sometimes don't like the whining mess they become in the middle of their moments.

But guess what?

Mommies have moments too.  Mommies have moments of crying in the shower.  Mommies have moments of disappearing to scream or throw or rage because you don't understand why you use to control a room of 24 children daily and teach them all how to read and write and do math and it was seemingly magical but you can't get one kid to not be grumpy or have a bit of a fit when leaving somewhere EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  Mommies have moments of needing space and NO ONE TOUCHING ME and wondering if you will ever get that space because it doesn't seem to be happening soon.

And you know what?

It's ok.  Because just as it is with is with mommies.  They are simply moments.  With no more of a hold on us than we let them have...............we can hold onto them, grasp those moments for dear life or just let go................let them go and move on, knowing they will come again but the times in between are the ones to cling to.  

After my shower?

My dear ones came home............and the kids and I piled in the car to go to the store.  We ran through the rain and piled food high, everyone taking turns to throw things in the cart.  Two different couples commented on  how well behaved the kids were and, of course, how cute they were............not knowing just the hour before I was having a "moment" on the shower floor because of these cute ones :)  We came home, put on jammies, grabbed food and games and went to the basement for a movie and game night.  It was so much fun.  

That.  That is a moment I will cling to.............giggly game nights with pesto pizza and Scooby Doo.

And the other moments?

Well, chalk it up to being a mom and go easy on yourself - take a shower, take a walk, go through a drive thru for Starbucks or Sonic, find a sitter, browse at Target, do whatever it takes to get out of yourself for just a moment......that moment.

The next one will be better............I promise.