EDEL ’14 : Snapshots and Flo Rida

I’m going to the beach in two hours, so I can’t type out all the awesome that was Edel 2014. All I can do is drop a few pictures and captions in, as time and wifi permit, along with a blurry karaoke video that might be my ticket to viral online success. Safe to say, I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.


Other attendees reflections (To be updated as more are posted. [Be patient, I'm on vacation!]):

Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace 

Cari @ Clan Donaldson

If you snapped a picture of me, or snagged a selfie with me please feel free to email it to me at kellymantoan(at)gmail(dot)com so I can add it to my gallery. I’d love to have everything collected in one spot. Thank you!


Filed under Photography

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Expectations vs Reality: You mean, all kids are different?!

Today I’m happy to be joining up with Amy from Go Forth and Mother for her year-long ‘Happy Wife Project’. This week I’m writing about my expectations of motherhood vs the reality of motherhood. When you’re done here, be sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour! I’ve listed them all at the bottom of the post. 

Despite not always liking children, and having spent very little time with young children growing up,  I somehow managed very early in my marriage to create the perfect, no-fail plan for raising mine into to well-behaved geniuses. For example:

  • Blatant disobedience? There would be a warning but also the threat of a swift smack on the butt. I was not going to be some softy or friend to my child. I couldn’t stand kids who refused to do as they were told and I was prepared to take unpopular steps to bring mine in line.
  • Reading by age five? Certainly! With my devoted attention, there’s no reason that all my children couldn’t be early readers. Moms who said “their kids weren’t ready” or “boys are different” were just lazy.
  • Favorites? No way! All my children would be loved in the same way and raised the exact. same. way. My youngest would do everything that was expected of the oldest; no spoiled baby syndrome in this house! Consistency in all things! I would be fair! Parents who let their younger children get away with more than their older kids were probably the same lazy parents not shoving phonics down their reluctant four-year old’s throats.

And so on. I didn’t read many parenting books, I just assumed I knew the best way to raise my kids from birth to age 18 and you could keep your advice to yourself thankyouverymuch. Admittedly, I really did dislike ill-behaved children and most of these strongly held beliefs covered my fear of producing children that were little terrors that no one wanted to be around.

My oldest was a very good child and tolerated my parenting style well; listened when she was told,  potty trained at 2, started reading by age 4 1/2, acted responsible beyond her years. But imagine my surprise when it didn’t work out exactly the same way with my oldest son. He would purposely pee on the floor in front of me to get my attention and laugh if I tried to smack his butt as if it tickled. I was floored! I had these methods and ideas that I had to follow! Why did they work with one child and not the other?? Cue lightbulb moment:

Because each child is different, parenting does not come in one size fits all.

I feel like it should have been more obvious, but sadly it took a long time for me to realize that I needed to change my parenting style and teaching methods to meet the needs of each child. What worked with one child might not work with another, and that’s not a failure in how one parents, but a sign that this child has a personality, a temperament and talents all his own. I learned that I could keep my goals of having well-behaved, well-educated children if I was willing to change the steps I took to get there.

Raising a toddler, or six-year-old or tween, is not a code you crack and then sit back and relax. How you parent is always subject to change. The constants are my love for each of my children and the clear expectations I lay out for each. We have rules that are followed, behaviors that are not allowed, and subjects we must study. It may sound rigid but under these conditions there is a flexibility that gives the physical child plenty of time to run, the snuggly child more time together on the couch and the trying child, less warnings and more immediate repercussions. By forcing them each into my parenting style mold, I tended to overlook, or stifle,  some of their natural tendencies rather than bring them to the forefront to shine.

Consequently, by the time siblings three, four and five came along I was much less strict (although Teddy demands quite the iron first some days) because I realized I didn’t have to be so rigid. I learned that even if I didn’t follow my prescribed formula, my kids were still turning out to be pleasant and enjoyable. It was such a relief. Plus, the kids hold one another accountable for their behavior which was a completely foreign idea to me when I started this parenthood business.

My oldest will be 12 this fall. I’m trying to not formulate a hard and fast plan for how we’ll tackle the rapidly approaching teenage years. I feel bad that she has to always be the guinea pig as I try to figure out how to not screw her up for life. But I’ve accepted that what works for her, may not work for the rest.  So, today, this minute, I feel like I’ve figured this parenting business out. The good news is, if tomorrow feels any different, I can always change.

 Now see who else is blogging along: 



Filed under Parenting

{AMT} In Which I Tell You Random Things About Myself and Offer a Prize for Making it to the Bottom

Linking up with Kendra and offering free books at the same time. Because why the heck not?

1.What’s something you’ve won and how did you win it?

Probably the only thing I’ve won in recent years was the Sheenazing Award for Most Under-Appreciated Blogger in 2013. Otherwise, I have to think back more than a decade. However if there was an award for ‘Most Likely to Blog Something Embarrassing About Herself That Will Later Come Back To Haunt Her’ I would have that prize cinched up.

photo (19)

I still don’t regret that tattoo.

Try to make it through this entire post for your chance to win something worth blogging about… or updating your status about, or tweeting about or calling your mother about. It might be free books!!!! Okay, it’s definitely free books but I like building suspense. (I know another book giveaway but is there anything better!?)

2. Do you save old greeting cards or letters or throw them away? Why?

I display cards for a bit on our piano but then throw them all out. I did save all the cards Fulton received when he was in the hospital with pneumonia but otherwise I don’t save anything. I typically burn cards with religious images on them because even if they’re not blessed, I feel bad throwing Our Lord or Our Lady in the trash.

3. When you’re at home do you wear shoes, socks, slippers or go barefoot?

Barefoot when it’s warm, slippers when it’s cold. Upon entering the house, everyone takes off their shoes. I don’t demand it of guests, but none of the kids, or my husband, wear shoes in the house. I don’t know why or how I instituted this but since our first house in Syracuse, NY I’ve never worn shoes inside. Maybe I’m part Japanese or something? It does help prevent getting chicken poop from our free range hens in the house… unless one of the boys drives through it in their wheelchair in which case we get poop all over all. the. floors.

4. Who’s the most famous person you ever met?

In my brief span as a reporter, I managed to meet a few celebrities, sometimes in person, sometimes just over the phone. I met President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary while he was in office. I met and interviewed Sen. Chuck Schumer. I interviewed the late Cardinal Avery Dulles twice, once on the phone, once in person. (Such a wonderful man!) I interviewed, by force, the Governor of N.Y., George Pataki. I interviewed Margaret Cho on the phone along with the bands Blessed Union of Souls and Sponge (when people actually cared who they were.) I photographed Walter Cronkite, President George H.W. Bush, and the band Violent Femmes in college. I can’t remember if I got to ask them any questions.

Since Bonnie listed me in her glittery photo montage I have to add that I’ve been privileged to meet her and her miraculous son James (the rest of her family is pretty great also) plus the illustrious Jen Fulwiler very recently. You’ll also remember I chatted with Brandon Vogt. I hope to meet many more of my online friends at Edel this weekend.

Fulwiler Mania

Even though Edel will be my second time meeting Jen in person, I’m going to freak out all over again.

5. What has been your best work of art?

I studied photography in college so I have many old photos I love. But I guess can I say my blog? TATL is my creative outlet now and I pour all my energy into it (I mean, all the energy I have left over after educating and raising my kids of course.) I like to tweak the web design myself, I love writing and some of the posts still make me snort loudly with laughter. And while the photos aren’t great, there’s a lot of good ones I’m happy to have all in one place.  I’m really proud of it, and I hope that doesn’t make me sound conceited or anything.

6. What is your strongest sense?

My gut. I try to always keep a clear head and reasonably consider all factors when faced with a major decision, but my gut has rarely let us down. And I’m not talking about healthy flora here people.

Did you finish all that? Great! Now enter to win a $25 gift certificate from Catholic Children’s E-books.


The founders are good friends and they’ve been working on finding and digitizing all sort of great old Catholic children’s books. You know those ones you’re lucky to find at curriculum sales or thrift stores? They’ve spent months tracking down titles of all sorts, adventure tales, saint biographies, poetry,  and gaining the rights to redistribute and digitize these engaging tales for all types of e-readers. Everything from the covers to the illustrations are scanned, while the text is clear and easy to read. If you have kids who read through books faster than you can check them out from the library, you know how great e-books are, but it can be hard to quickly preview a title to make sure it’s something appropriate for your child. Catholic Children’s E-books are a safe bet. Still not sure? They’re offering a free book to download on their site right now! I can also give the recommendation of my 11-year-old who hasn’t looked up from my Kindle since returning from camp. Have a suggestion for a title? Let them know! Their selection is constantly expanding. Trying to keep the kids reading this summer? Why not download a few titles to keep them interested poolside or inspire a new family read aloud time? Or start acquiring titles for next school year. Convinced yet? Then enter to win! I love being able to offer my readers books, and I would never recommend something my family and I don’t fully love.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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How to Start a Family Prayer Time

Since Mandi is closing up shop, I have her permission to re-post something I wrote for her a little while back, lest it gets lost forever on the interweb. If you didn’t catch it the first time around at Messy Wife, Blessed Life, I hope you enjoy it now. 

family prayer image


After the table is cleared, at least partially, our family gathers in the living room for family prayer time. We can manage three decades of a rosary, a litany of Saints, and maybe even a reading on a feast day or season. On any given evening, between my five kids, there is still rosary throwing, arguing, tears or a contest to see who can lead a decade the loudest, but, without hesitation, I would recommend starting a family tradition of a dedicated daily prayer time.

Growing up, the only time my family prayed together was at meal times. I viewed suspiciously friends whose family’s did “church things” on any other day besides Sunday. However, as my husband and I started our own family and considered what kind of Catholics we wanted our children to become, we quickly realized that instituting a set time every day to pray together would help our children learn their prayers and instill the importance of living our faith on a daily basis. As our parish family prays together on Sundays, it only makes sense that our domestic church should keep the momentum going during the week. Now my children can’t remember a time before family prayers.

It was a gradual process that first included prayers at their bedside while they were still very young. Then about seven years ago, I discovered a children’s devotional book and immediately declared we were going to spend time every night before bed reading from it and praying.

It was a disaster.

My children were so little, and I was expecting them to reflect upon scripture and religious stories when all they wanted to do was go to sleep. My husband and I both look back and cringe at our overzealousness. We almost scrapped the idea of an evening prayer time all together when, after talking with another family, we shared in a light bulb moment; the rosary! Yes, why not the rosary? And we started with just one decade and haven’t stopped since.

Through the years we’ve added a couple decades (though I know many families say the entire rosary) along with our family’s litany of Saints, which is always the favorite part for whomever is the youngest. Even at two years old, a child will gladly call our their favorite Saint and “Pray for us!” Every night we ask for the intercession of at least two dozen Saints. The kids have come to understand their patrons, their parents’ patrons, the Saints who look after our home and school, the Saint whose feast day it is, the titles of Our Lady, plus develop their own devotions.

Although sometimes, they grow to like a Saint just because of his or her unusual name. Sometimes I wonder how devoted Edie really is to the early martyr St. Apollinaris. And even though he’s been invoking St. Ubaldus for months, I doubt Teddy understands anything about the great bishop and confessor.

During Advent we say our prayers around the Advent wreath, and during Fridays in Lent, we read the Stations of the Cross. It’s easy to substitute other prayers during other seasons because we always have the time set aside.

Recently, we moved our prayer time from just before bed to right after supper. We’re all more awake which equals less fussing from the younger ones and a more reverent attitude from the older ones. Maybe mornings, or mid-afternoon, would work for you. Find what works for your family, then stick with it. The kids will help remind you once you’re in the habit.

I remember when the older children started leading the decades; it’s wasn’t too long before the younger ones wanted to lead too. My fourth child was leading prayers at age four, something my oldest had no interest in doing at the same age. So even if it seems hard at first, persevere because before long, there’s less child wrangling and more actual prayer going on.

The only aid I would recommend would be a large chunky rosary and maybe a small booklet that illustrates the mysteries. Any time we gave the kids pictures to color during prayers or larger books, images, etc. we found it to be more of a distraction, or weapon, than an aid.

Trying to start with little children is hard because doing anything for more than ten minutes with little children is hard; just be realistic in your goals and try not to get frustrated. If you’re trying to start with older children, you might need to work around sports or other activities and a child’s natural tendency to hate anything new. Be firm but proceed gently. Let the child help choose the intention for the evening. Allow them time to ask questions about a Saint or liturgical season. Although I don’t always enjoy going off on tangents, our family has some of the best discussions at prayer time. Do they need to learn prayers for CCD or a sacramental year? Incorporate them. My youngest daughter will be making her First Holy Communion this year and we’ve started saying the Act of Contrition every night to help prepare her.
Although it may sometimes feel like a battle getting everyone to cooperate, a dedicated family prayer time is perfect weapon against our culture’s war on families. Pray for the graces to keep going, even through the tantrums, and you’ll see the benefits it brings.

“If families give Our Lady fifteen minutes a day by reciting the Rosary, I assure them that their homes will become, by God’s grace, peaceful places.” Father Patrick Peyton


Filed under Catholic

{SQT} The (adjective) Quick Takes Ever! “(Exclamation)!”

It’s already the middle of summer and all around me I see friends, family and fellow bloggers dropping off the face of the virtual world as they enjoy the beautiful weather and numerous over-commitments that this season brings. Two weddings, a picnic, family vacation and bible school? Sounds great for the first week of July right?!

As a blogger, I understand that my fellow writers might be hard pressed to continue posting at their usual rate. Or that hours in the sun may have zapped their creative juices. I get it, I really do, and that’s why I’m here to help with my Mad Lib-style writing prompts. Did I just say Mad Libs? Yes, totally, out loud and everything. Next time you’re wondering what to write and question the value in sharing 32,523,456 camping photos, simply pick one of my templates, copy and paste it over to your blog, fill in the blanks, flesh it out, tack on a conclusion and viola!, engaged and interested readers!

1. First up, the inspirational mommy blogger post.

Yesterday, I  (verb) with all the kids in tow, and it struck me how (adverb) life, will (verb) with these (plural noun) of mine. Many people would say (exclamation) and let (noun) take a backseat, or simply not notice all the (adjective) masterpiece that (noun) creates for us. As a mom, when I struggle, I find (adjective) from (noun) and I want to (verb) every mom who (verb) to do the same. You can. We can. (Noun) can. Together, everything is possible for our kids, without sacrificing our (noun).

2. Next, a controversial mommy wars post, for when you want to start a combox war you can moderate on vacation (much to the delight of your husband.)

What would you say, if I told you (plural noun) were illegal? You’d think it (adjective) right? So then why do we tolerate other (plural noun) doing (verb)? If your child asked you to (verb) how could you (verb)? Parents who allow their kids to (adverb) (verb), are setting them up for a lifetime of failure and (noun). And those children as adults are ill-equipped to (verb). Common sense should show that any parent makes the better (adjective) decision by (verb) and being straight forward from the start.

3. The spiritual reflection.

In a moment of stress last night, I opened the bible and stumbled across these words (open Bible, select three verses, put them down in quotes) and I knew God was speaking to me through these (adjective) words. Especially, “(list three words that fall in a row)”. (Exclamation), they just (verb) me over the head like a ton of (noun). I reflected on my actions of the day and recalled several times when I (past tense verb) and (past tense verb) without thinking. How (adjective), I thought. But here, right in front of me was God himself saying “(same three words)” to (adverb)(verb) me.

4. A typical day in the life.

The morning started out (adjective) but by lunch, I knew we needed to get out of the (noun). Thankfully, the weather was (adjective) and made towing all (number) kids only slightly more (adjective) than usual. Immediately, the (-ing verb) for food began, and I was forced to find a drive-thru. The guy working the window was so kind as to utter “(exclamation)” before dropping the bag of (plural nouns) on my (body part.) His manager’s offer of a free (noun) did nothing for the pain that was now (adverb) spreading through my (different body part).

5. Fashion post, with a picture you can Photoshop your head onto! Or not. Maybe your readers won’t notice it’s not you.

I’d never bought a (brand name) (piece of clothing) before, but on the recommendation of a friend, I gave it a shot. I didn’t bother asking my husband’s opinion as the (adjective) look he gave me spoke volumes, but I decided to wear the (same piece of clothing) when I went (verb) with the kids. First off, I couldn’t get over how (adjective) it felt, but the sensation didn’t last once I (adverb) (verb) and adjusted its (noun). The (color) pattern got lots of (adjective) compliments, which I didn’t expect at all.

Mom fashion

Even my hair was (adjective) that day!

6. A crafty post for all the struggling Martha Stewart’s out there.

Today I wanted to show you how to make a (noun) using nothing but (element from the Periodic table), (something in your pantry right now), and (glitter, sequins, pony beads, pipe cleaners or duct tape: pick one). I’ve made several and had (number) friends tell me how (adjective) it looked. But it’s not that hard, really! First take (same element from the Periodic table) and (verb) it with a small mallet until it starts to (verb). Next, apply a (adjective) layer of (same pantry item). Repeat this step (number) until your craft resembles a small (vegetable). Finally, and you’ll need gloves for this step, (verb) the craft in (selected craft supply) and blow. Whatever you do, don’t inhale!

7. For my last take, I thought I’d show you, with the help of my kids,  how a completed writing prompt might look. I’m using prompt #1.

Yesterday, I  pooped with all the kids in tow, and it struck me how sickly life, will scream with these toilets of mine. Many people would say “Booger!” and let farts take a backseat, or simply not notice all the silly masterpieces that pickles create for us. As a mom, when I struggle, I find slimy from cheese and I want to vomit every mom who picks their nose to do the same. You can. We can. Butts can. Together, everything is possible for our kids, without sacrificing our pizza crusts.

On second thought, you may not want to get your kids input, unless you really need to make a point about bowel habits. Let me know if you give one of my prompts a try! They’re great for taking care of those pesky sixth and seventh quick takes.

But if you’re not short on time, or inspiration, you can just swing back to Jen’s for more Takes and (plural noun).


Filed under Humor, Seven Quick Takes

Gifts For ALL the Men in Your Life: Even the Ones You Don’t Have

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from Man Crates asking, or practically begging me, to suggest some new gift ideas for men. If you’re not familiar with Man Crates:

We say ‘no’ to ugly neckties, cologne samplers and executive trinkets. We don’t save wrapping paper, we don’t do ribbons.

We ship brag-worthy gifts for guys. Gifts that you can’t wait to arrive because you know the recipient will love opening them.

Gifts that people gather round at the office, people following the sounds of wood being torn from wood by the included, laser-engraved crowbar.

We are Man Crates, and we deliver awesome gifts for men.

Pretty awesome right? I was flattered and got right to work creating several potential Man Crates for them. Some ideas were so obvious, I couldn’t believe they weren’t already offered. Others are perfect for attracting niche markets not currently on Man Crates radar. If you see something you like, be sure to comment to let Man Crates know, otherwise, your favorite crate might not be in production in time for Christmas.

First up, despite picturing a bearded lumberjack on their home page, they neither offer a crate for bearded guys OR lumberjacks. WTH Man Crates??

Let’s correct this blatant error shall we?

The Young and the Bearded

We’ve got a hip t-shirt, a shower curtain for bearded inspiration, beard shampoo, beard oil, a beard trimmer and a beard comb. Plus, as a bonus, the first 50 orders should get this sweet can cozy to eliminate the smooth womanly face on their beer cans.

Etsy Beerd Can Beard Cozy

Then of course, the crate for lumberjacks.It’s got a cozy shirt, wool socks, fuzzy hat, tough boots, a flask to keep you warm and help your aim plus, an ax. And why not throw in a sapling too Man Crates?


Now, a unique crate based on my popular Lenten Gift Guide. For the man in your life who aspires to loftier goals, the Hermit Crate. It includes the deed for a cave along the rocky shores of Newfoundland, a basket for your followers to bring you bread, chains to wrap around your torso in reparation for the sins of mankind, rocks of assorted sizes for kneeling on, stuffing in your shoes, etc, and a hair shirt to keep lusty thoughts at bay. Emulate St. Benedict who was living like a recluse before it was cool. The original monastic hipster.


As a retired runner, I know there’s tons of extreme races out there with fire, electric jolts and lots of mud. Why not a Man Crate for the crazy…I mean dedicated fun runner? Featuring a crazy hat, first aid kit, nipple guards (if you don’t know, don’t ask), sturdy fire resistant shoes and a fun beer cozy for the after party, all you need to do is supply the entrance fee and life insurance policy.

Mud Run

Lastly, I tried decided to reach out to the country boys with a crate featuring only the most essential items for life in the country. A three pack of white undershirts, red Solo cups, a camo Snuggie, a behind the seat gun rack and chrome truck nutz lets the world know that you’ve got redneck class like a boss.

Redneck Gifts

I can’t even imagine the amount of marriages I’ve saved with these suggestions. Man Crates take note! And readers, be sure to check out Man Crates extensive selection of manly gifts. Even though I have a uterus, I’ll admit to eyeing up several of their meat based crates and would gladly take some jerky as payment for this gratuitous promotion. Think you have a better idea? Drop a comment like it’s hot, or keep it to yourself show off.


Filed under Humor

{FF} Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot in the Kitchen

This post could also be titled, “It’s Getting Hot in Here, So Stop Cooking With The Oven”. (I. am. getting so hot, I need to turn my oven off!!)

As we’re coming into July with all the festivities of the fourth looming in the very near future, I wanted to share some of my favorite summer meals. The decision was also inspired by a monthly meal plan I saw on Pinterest last night. I thought, oh goody!, some quick and easy meals for a busy summer. And then I realized almost every dinner required significant oven time: meatloaf, pot roast, baked chicken. Now don’t get me wrong, these are all great meals but clearly this woman lives in a house where you can run an oven for two hours and not totally offset the effects of the air conditioner. (Old homes FTW!) Plus, I don’t like to run the air conditioner unless absolutely necessary, and on warm days, as much as I love summer, I do not love smoldering in the kitchen for a heavy meal. Lastly, my family may work up at appetite in the pool or at the beach, but we rarely want to sit down to a meal of mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed vegetables and pot roast in July. January; yes please, but not this month.

I think the menu plan also showed how far our society has come from eating seasonally. Since we can eat the same food year round, in climate controlled homes, we do. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I think some families may miss out on some seasonal favorites because they’re locked into a regular meal plan.

summer cooking button

This month, as you plan out your meals and write your grocery shopping list, consider preparing a few of these summer favorites to keep your house cooler.

1. Beer can chicken – My absolute favorite summer meal. I’ve made beer can chicken in our oven before, but I much prefer the grill version. Plus, the leftovers are great for chicken salad or just eating cold. Who says you need to reheat? Chicken tacos and quesadillas are also great summer meals with little heat output, unless you use the ultra hot and spicy salsa.

2. Cool pasta salad – My family likes one made with imitation crab. I cook the noodles and prepare the salad in the morning before things heat up. After sitting in the fridge all day, the flavors have melded beautifully and it’s the perfect meal to sit down to after a day of running around.

If I can’t even bring myself to cook noodles, I’ll sometimes make an Asian Slaw with some extra nuts or leftover chicken tossed in.

3.  Slow cooker meals – My cooker can still put out a lot of heat, so in the summer I usually park it someone other than the kitchen, such as the basement. The trick is to not over fill it before carrying it to another room. Pulled pork is always a hit.

Same thing with your rice cooker; don’t hesitate to use it and move it to keep heat at a minimum in your living spaces. After a busy day, you can’t go wrong with stir fry and rice. Heck, have your kids make it for you.

4.  Pizza, on the grill- I enjoy making pizza, but there is no way I’m jacking my oven up to 450 for an hour in July.

5. Hearty salads – Even if all the lettuce in your garden has bolted, salads can make a great summer dinner, with or without the green.

Corn Salad

Broccoli Salad

Black Bean Salad

Cucumber Salad

Bonus – We also sometimes splurge on sweets for dinner. Strawberry shortcake for dinner? It’s happened. In the winter on snow days, it’s not uncommon for me to bake apple pies for supper. Don’t be afraid to prepare something special featuring fresh, seasonal produce. Grilled peaches anyone??

Need more ideas?

Follow Kelly’s board Summer Cooking on Pinterest.

Once you’re done writing up your meal plan, swing back to Mama’s for more of the Favorites.


Filed under Five Favorites, Food

Theme Songs or Why I’m Choked Up Before Breakfast

Jen posted some of her theme songs today, and I thought it would be a great thing to post a few of my own.

First, the song that best sums up Tony and I, and our marriage, is Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me by Mel Carter. We danced to it at our wedding, and we continue to do so every year on our anniversary. We are still madly in love with one another and I think this song captures our devotion without being too sappy. All the giddy joy we felt on our big day nearly 13 years ago is still there. It’s reassuring to look back and realize things have only gotten better.

Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over was my official 35K For SMA theme song. Somehow it reminded me that I was running for something greater than myself.
“Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father, run for your children, for your sisters and your brothers. Leave all your love and your longing behind. You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive.”

Years ago, I put together a photo slide show of beach pictures. I set it to Scalliwag by Gaelic Storm and now I always associate the tune with those early days on the beach with two or three little children; when the older kids were first developing their own love of the seashore.

Shortly after Fulton’s diagnosis, I made a video to explain his background, SMA and Arbp. Sheen’s cause. I set it to Cold Play’s Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love. The flow of the song and the break between to the two sections lined up perfectly with the story I was trying to tell. It was a heartbreaking video, and I tear up every time I hear the song but the line “the sun will come out again” always jumps out at me. Even though I was in a dark place when I made that video, I think somehow I knew things would get better even if I had a hard time believing it at the time. (I think my video was ultimately removed by YouTube due to some copyright issue.)

Those were four that jumped out at me. While I go grab a tissue, what songs define the most memorable moments of your life?

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Filed under Uncategorized