What is it like to be a Mom for Senior Prom…

It all starts many months before the actual day with Prom dress shopping…. well it does for us Moms of teenage girls. Junior Prom dress shopping turned into a nightmare last year, we could not find the perfect dress for our budget, we spent day after day, month after month visiting dress shops, we ordered and bought 4 dresses in total and then we finally decided on a dress that M had tried on in the very beginning, which by the way was always one of my favorites and ended up being such a bargain with extra discounts. Moving onto this year, with last years experience under my belt, I had a plan and a budget… one giant outlet dress shop and a free afternoon… well my plan was even more successful than I thought it would be… one shop, first dress we saw, 20 minutes later we were off to get lunch with the dress in our hands… so organized and off to a good start this year.

Next on our prom to do list was organizing the hair appointment well in advance, luckily our last minute hair appointment was so successful last year, we decided this was the perfect place for this year. We did leave shoe and bag shopping a little late but that worked out well in more ways than one. To be honest in all the preparation I was not prepared personally for the actual day….

After having 5 boys who I absolutely adore by the way, I got a beautiful dark hair baby girl, I remember touching her after she was born, trying to take in every moment of her being here, she is almost 18 now, she has challenged me in more ways than I thought possible, there have been fights, tears, laughter and so much joy, but I feel like I blinked and she was here going to Prom. I wasn’t prepared for the emotion that went along with Senior Prom before the actual day. I was and am so proud of everything she has achieved, this year has been challenging for her, but not only has she come out of High School on top with fantastic grades, a few Honors societies under her belt, but she has grown so much as a person, to see her smile light up on Friday melted my heart in ways I have never felt, different ways… I am so proud of each one of my children for who they are, who they have become, and each one of their achievements… and Friday afternoon was no different, except this time my baby was wearing a beautiful pink dress that made her sparkle in every way possible.

So what’s it truly like being a Mom of a Senior at Prom… well my day started with collecting the boutonnière for M, it was then my emotions began to go haywire, it was then I realized that today was truly bittersweet, my heart lit up with pride at this beautiful person she has become, but deep down I felt a huge weight, this day really does signify change, time to move on, but as a Mom it’s hard to let go, I’ve tried so hard this weekend not to be the over bearing mother of a daughter partying at Seaside, so many times I wanted to check she was ok, but I didn’t because I know this will be our life moving forward… college awaits this smart beautiful girl and I want her to enjoy every single moment of this new and exciting life… but I can tell you one thing I was so happy when she text me to say she was home yesterday afternoon.

Time please stop moving too fast, please slow down just a little, let me stay a while in this moment before we move on to a new and very different life… being a mother is challenging in so many ways but the rewards are more amazing than we ever imagined… that’s what being a mother of a Senior is all about… boy or girl they challenge us in ways we never expected but when it is time to fly our little nest called home, are we ready, will we ever really be ready… I think the answer to that will always be no, but we know the time has come to let our babies fly away but deep down inside we know they will always want to come home to us… life changes but our love will never change it will just grow and grow and grow.

Photographic diary, Uncategorized

Just an idea…

I have fallen in love with photography… I have always loved to take photos, but mainly of my family and in the main when I processed my little roll of film some would be good and a lot would be bad.  In 2007 we moved over to the US and that was the year I got a DSLR, I think it was at that point my love of photography changed, the Internet was sitting there, there were websites like KODAK to share albums of photos to family and friends around the world, I think that was the change for me and little did I know back then how much I would grow to love this new world.

My family feel I post way too many photos on a daily basis and I will admit to being a little addicted.  So I was talking to Jordan the other day and he had the idea that I could set up a website gallery just for photography, he was saying he thought it would be good to just showcase a few of my very best photos, or the ones I thought were my best, I loved this idea instantly and have since been mulling it over in my mind… Ok I know I’m not the best photographer in the world, but some of my photos are decent, or at least I think they are.

Photography to me is like a link to my past, with 8 children I’m always so busy and I easily forget things, to me my photos link me to things I may forget, this sunflower for instance reminds me of two hot children wandering around a maze and a drip of sweat dripping down my back as the realization came to me that the day had turned out much hotter than I had expected it to be… Life 🌻



The summer used to signify rest and relaxation for me, when my older boys were young the start of the summer holidays/recess meant long lazy days, no alarms meant laying in bed all morning watching tv and on those days we planned an outing we would be up extra early visiting places before the crowds arrived… The beach trips meant leaving the house at 6am and getting to the beach with a breakfast picnic and a flask of coffee, just as the crowds arrived at lunch time we would pack up and leave… I thank my very good friend for showing me this way of summer beaching… Such fond memories!

Now these past two weeks of summer have not been like that, it’s been go, go, go… We have left too late for trips to the beach, meaning we have arrived at the beach to find crowds of people and then have sat in hours of traffic on our way home. When we have been at home all I have heard is I’m bored, I’m hungry and what are we doing tomorrow?

With the weeks of the summer flying by I want to bring back rest and relaxation with a healthy mix of days out and chores around the house… I need to get organized right now!

We got together one evening and for the first time ever we planned a summer list of want to do’s…

Morristown… Cake boss shop… Completed
Dingmans Falls walk
Flea market
Beach… Completed
Water play park
Dorney Park/water park
Arboretum… Completed
Mall… Completed
Read a book… Completed by Mabel
Concerts in the park… Completed one movie in the park
Arts and crafts projects
Hyline NY
Go carting
Mini golf

As you can see we have completed a lot of our list in just two weeks, in between all that fun we have also had a lot of excitement with some relaxing pool time courtesy of our friends beautiful pool, and also Mabel has had a wonderful sleepover and a two day community pool play date… All this water fun led to us purchasing an adventure waterproof camera… The underwater photos are amazing and not worrying about sand in my camera on the beach is so good!


If you love taking your camera everywhere you go… Then I would recommend an all adventure camera, taking photos in the pool is amazing and beach photos become worry free… Sand in the camera is no longer a worry… Our camera was on offer in Costco $149.99, $50 off and included a float handle, so when your not using your camera it can just Bob around in the pool, waiting for the next time you want to snap away… Mabel has taken selfies to a new level… Underwater… So much fun!


As always I must mention food… My summer favorite at the moment is salad with fresh figs, a suggestion from Rachael Ray, yesterday I bought some beautiful fresh figs from Trader Joes, I quartered them and added them to my green salad, drizzled balsamic glaze over and it was sooooo good! Tonight I am making a variation of the Pioneer Woman’s Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches with a nice fruity green salad again…. Happy summer cooking!


The beach…

I love the beach, I love the ocean, I love the waves, I love the whole vibe of the place… I could quite happily live in a small beach house somewhere, that would make me very happy, but what I don’t like about the beach is the traffic, it took us 3, yes THREE hours to get home on Sunday, not only was I tired by the time I walked through my door but I was extremely grumpy, even our Starbucks break had not revived my mood!

Next time we go though I am definitely taking food, everywhere was so busy… picnic on the beach is the way to go, and I am leaving very early in the morning, you cannot beat being on the beach at 7.30 am… Quiet, serene and best of all you leave early, just as everyone is arriving meaning the roads are not at a standstill with everyone heading home at the same time… Now that’s the way to do the beach in the summer time!

Now the big question about going to the beach is ‘do I take my camera?’, now of course there is the huge risk of sand getting into it, but then if you don’t take it, all the photo opportunities you miss… For me I always have to take my camera, not my new one though, but my older canon, it still takes great photos but it was not as expensive as my new one! This last weeks trip to the beach meant my camera and iPhone both took a beating… I just click and click away, you just never know one of those shots just may be the perfect picture, and for me this was definitely the case in more ways than one this trip!

Not quite a beach cocktail recipe…
Take 4 mason jars and fill each one halfway with boiling water and an organic cranberry tea bag… Steep for as long as you would like, then allow to cool, add some berries, whatever you would like I used whole blueberries and halved strawberries, now this is where I cheated a little bit, I filled the jars to the top with shop bought pink lemonade, add a sprig of mint leaves, put on the lid, shake and refrigerate overnight… Add to your cool box and don’t forget the straws… Enjoy whilst you are sitting in the sand, watching those waves come in! (Of course vodka would be a great addition to this refreshing beach drink… Next time if I am not driving!)


Happy Summer Recess… Remember always take your camera, you never know when you will have the perfect summer moment… Relax and Enjoy!




Photo’s, photo’s and still more photo’s

It’s been all quiet here on the Windle front, a very chilled out lazy week for my children, but as they say a mothers job is never done, so not so lazy for this very tired Mommy!
I had a few housekeeping tasks that needed doing this week, number one on my list organize Farrel’s GED, check, number two organize Farrel’s driving test, check and number three blood test appointments for Florence and Blu, not check… Still the week is not quite over yet!

Photos are something I have been doing this week, I was in desperate need of catching up with over 2000 photos on my two cameras, iPhone and iPad combined… I have cleared all devices now, backed them up, sorted them and have been sharing some albums… Finally at the end of July I have managed to share Florence’s 1st Birthday photos back in May… Whaooooo!

I have promised my very square eyed children a trip to do some bowling tomorrow and a much anticipated trip to Sparta’s brand new diner… Should be fun!

As far as menu planning this week, not a lot has been happening, we ran out of gas for the grill so cooking has been happening inside mainly, I’ve eaten two lots of McDonald’s for lunch, so much for the flat belly diet and Quick Chek subs for dinner last night… Note to self, get back onto a healthy eating plan… but on the positive side Paul said I had lost a little bit of weight yesterday, so I’m not feeling too guilty about my slightly unhealthy week!

Next weeks list of to do’s are…
Sort and clear out all not needed clothes
Get shelves for mud room cupboard so that I can store pots and pans from kitchen
Get more hangers so Mabel can continue organizing her closet… That girl is Abercrombie Mad!
… And finally, HAVE FUN!

Be organized, stay cool and enjoy the beautiful weather!