Has toting your tots led to back pain? Check out my latest Tampa Bay Moms Blog post for easy tips on how to get (and keep) your back strong enough to survive motherhood!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Carol Hiscano: A Tribute to My Grandmother

Carol Hiscano was an incredible woman. Strong, funny, smart, and feisty - she was my grandmother and I was proud to know her. She recently passed away unexpectedly. True to form, though, she was ready and it was just tough luck if the rest of us weren't. I sure did love that about her.

My grandfather, Augie Hiscano, had already gone to the Lord and she was ready to see her sweetheart again. It wasn't lost on me that her passing occurred shortly after the ninth anniversary of his death. Now, there was a couple you could look to for hope and assurance in everlasting love. Augie and Carol Hiscano were high school sweethearts who stood by each other's side through everything. They were friends, equals, and completely in love to their last breaths.

My grandparents, Augie and Carol Hiscano, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

I'm torn between so many emotions as I grieve this enormous loss. I'm sad because I miss her terribly. She hadn't yet gotten to meet my youngest child, Parker, but she had seen plenty of pictures in the short time their lives overlapped. 

I can't help but wonder whether his arrival had something to do with the timing, as well. You see, my son, Parker Augustine, born at the end of March, was named after my grandfather. I wonder whether his birth - keeping the memory of her beloved husband alive - helped her to leave this world behind knowing he would live on in his youngest great-grandchild (and, of course, in all of his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids). I also believe it helped that, since my sister-in-law had given birth to her beautiful baby boy a few months before, the birth of Parker marked the end of those great-grandchildren currently in utero.

Did she decide she was sick of waiting for her grandkids to make the trip to Miami so she could see all of those great-grandbabies? Knowing her, she may have just decided a bird's eye view would be more efficient. In any case, I know she's watching over all of them now (and laughing often).

Aside from the sadness, though, I also find myself filled with a great deal of peace. Knowing that she's back with her husband after all these years makes me smile. I doubt she needed to be told to head into the light; she probably skipped through the pearly gates eager to meet him again.

Augie and Carol in their younger days.

Coming from a small family, the loss of someone, especially someone so strong and vibrant, makes a huge impact on all of us. She, like her sweetie, was larger than this life. It's no wonder I often forget she isn't with us in this life anymore. Only when I stop to think about it - or catch myself about to call to tell her some funny story - does it fully hit me.

While it's human nature to dwell on our regrets (I should've made the trip to visit more often and I wish she had been able to meet Parker), it's important to focus on the positives. While it had been too long since we'd seen her (almost a year and a half), she had gotten to watch Bailey grow. And while she didn't get the chance to meet Parker, she had already seen a multitude of pictures in his short lifetime.

September 7th is National Grandparents Day and while my kids are still fortunate enough to have all of their grammas and grampas around, I will love, miss, and remember mine. Let's all take a moment to hug those still with us and to cherish the memories of those who have passed. Rest in peace, Gramma.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Online Benefit for I Matter Too - Helping Orphaned, Abused & Neglected Children

Do you want to help those in need, but feel like you don't really get the opportunity? Here's a simple way to give back to the community and help kids while adding some new children's books to your library!

I Matter Too is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that mentors and tutors orphaned, abused, and neglected children through the love of Jesus Christ.

Since 2007 when Stacia Hepburn founded it here in Tampa, I Matter Too has been partnering abused and orphaned children 4 years old and up with adult mentors and tutors to provide the support and attention every kid deserves. Each mentor/tutor travels to their students and helps guide them through spiritual, emotional, and academic avenues in order to serve as a positive influence, friend, and role model.

Through its volunteers, fundraisers, events, and kind donations, I Matter Too is always working hard to improve the lives of children who need love and support.

In an effort to help raise money and awareness for this great organization, from July 1st through September 30th, 100% of my author proceeds from all online sales of both children's books, "Four Lucky Leaves" and "Hi, God", will be donated to benefit I Matter Too.

As parents, we understand how vital it is that our children know they are loved. Every book purchased will benefit I Matter Too in order to help in the growth and support of those kids who may not have someone to remind them of just how special they are.

Please help me to raise money and awareness to benefit this wonderful cause by purchasing a book. Be an advocate - share this campaign with your friends and family!

Both books can be purchased at They can also be purchased through other online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For more information on I Matter Too and to learn about other ways you can help, please visit

Thank you and God bless!