Every loving new mom needs to know one important thing: you ARE doing a great job! Please read this open letter to all new moms and be reminded of it!

Friday, September 5, 2014

GIVEAWAY: 2 Tropicana Summer Fun Kids Kits!

The folks over at Tropicana recently sent me a Summer Fun Kids Kit in order for me (and, of course, the little ones) to safely enjoy the remainder of the season. 

Even though summer is fading and fall is quickly gaining on us, living in Florida means year-round opportunities to play outside - and to experience the red-hot misery of sunburn. So, in an attempt to thwart those nasty UV rays from singeing the unblemished skin of our tots, Tropicana has graciously provided two additional Summer Fun Kids Kits for giveaway!

Each kit includes sunglasses, sunscreen, coupons, and other goodies for your kids to have fun outside!

Enter below for your chance to win! Complete each task to earn additional entries! Good luck!

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.