About Breathing

Breathing in. Breathing out. When it all boils down to it, life is all about breathing, isn’t it?

Tonight, after my commute home and some errands, I am glad to delay dinner and just breathe for a few minutes. Greg is outside, working on the garage. The kids are enjoying some screen time. And I am breathing.

I feel like I’m breathing differently these days. I’m breathing with lungs that are truly ready to start running again, as soon as I can drop a few more pounds with eating changes. I’m breathing with less stress. I’m breathing life into a body that is getting enough rest and not relying on coffee to get me through. I’m breathing.

It’s been seven days (plus a weekend) at my new job, and there have been a lot of breathing moments in these days. There was my high school reunion and Father’s Day without being on call. Being able to go to lunch with my kids and not feel like I needed to race a clock back to the house to get back online. Walking in the garden that my love has put his labor into. Breathing in the smell of lilies on lunchtime strolls around my office park.

It’s been a few weeks of better breathing for Arianna, too. She met with an allergist on Friday and confirmed the bloodwork (food panel) was right – no milk or peanut allergies. She does have some environmental ones, which that paired with her asthma were what’s been deemed our ‘lil trip to Children’s ER a few weeks back. She’s breathing more often with the help of her inhaler, with goals to get off that soon (except for exercise), too.

It’s been deep, labored breaths for Evan as he realizes the TORMENT of summer break. Early mornings waking with the sun paired with the desire to stay awake until the sun goes down paired with playing and Bible school and lunches and boy-life are taking a toll on his plans. The next days will likely bring the addition of a nap (or quiet time) to cut down on the sighs and side-breaths we’re getting around dinner time. Boys…they will be boys!

And Greg’s been breathing more calmly, too. His job changed as well, back to being a Stay at Home Dad full-time. It’s an adjustment, but we’re so glad breathing is a little bit easier. That Sundays are truly family days again. That I don’t have to beat the traffic home across the city.

This breathing thing. It’s pretty nice.

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Happy Dad’s Day!

Wishing a Happy Dad’s Day to our favorite dads plus all the dads out there.

To Pops (Pop Pop) and Greg (Daddy) …

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…and to Dad (Pappy)…

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…Happy Father’s Day!

Posted in Greg (Mr. Burgher), Our Amazing Extended Family | Leave a comment

Glow in the Dark Pacifier Clip


Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. Ava received a Glow in the Dark Pacifier Clip set in exchange for her mommy writing this post.

Glow in the Dark Pacifier Clip

It sounds totally crazy to have a glow in the dark pacifier clip, but in the week or so Ava’s been using it, the invention has found it’s worth in my book.

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This pacifier clip set, from Baby Goose, contains three double-sided ribbon pacifier clips. They loop-hook to baby’s pacifier and clip to their close. The bonus? They glow in the dark…so when baby throws the paci out of their crib at night, tired moms and dads can find it easily!

The set of three pacifier clips came in handy just in a week of use. 1) Ava covered one in cheese-ball orange flakes. It was a quick and easy swap from one clip to the other. The hook-knot loop feature that hooks to her neenie (pacifier) makes this quick and easy. 2) She’s throwing it less and her sister hasn’t figured out how to pull  it off her. The clip is sturdy had hasn’t damaged her clothing. 3) When she does get the clip loose and the room is dark, we can quickly find it thanks to the glow feature.

Gifting for someone? This clip set is a good choice if the baby is using a pacifier. It’s cute, too. There’s a themed set for boys and one for girls. Both are two-sided with coordinating prints.

Ava’s happy, so Mama’s happy! (Don’t let her silly face fool you!)

glow in the dark pacifier set

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Numb

This one is a hard post to write tonight. My heart is torn in so many ways, my mind still numb from current events.

Last night, as my city celebrated winning the Cup, another city was in shock over an attack, the brutalist of modern history. Here I was, just living life, tweeting, blogging, watching the game…trying anything I could not to have to think. Not to think of words. Not to think what if it had been someone I loved. Not to…anything.

But I woke today, thinking I should have some thoughts. Something. Anything. And I was still numb, still trying to move on with life life it’s normal – but it’s not.

We Americans are lucky, even in the midst of terror and attacks and numbness and what if. We were founded on freedom, and because of that, we are free from so many oppressive situations that many others in the world find themselves in. Even though we are free, it doesn’t change the fact that hate still exists, that terror is still real, that we live in a post-9/11 world of “what next”. This is our reality.

I still cannot find words. I’m scared of my words. I’m scared they’ll be twisted and turned, my friends on the left thinking I am not doing or saying enough; my friends on the right asking how I can love like I do, how I can be so accepting. I feel in a horrible, awful place…but I know it could be worse…so I am numb.

When I am numb, I go to do the one thing that I feel is right, and that’s talk to the Lord. Tonight, he spoke back to me, urging me to find the stance of the church I grew up in and what they might say to offer me some solace in my numbness. This is what I found, and this is what I’ll lean on tonight…praying it helps me feel better about my lack of saying anything at all.

United Methodists across the world are horrified by the despicable act of terrorism in Orlando, Florida, that took the lives of 49 individuals and wounded 53 others.

We are in shock. We join those who grieve. We pray for the victims, their families, and the LGBTQ community targeted by this hateful attack. We stand against all forms of violence, committed anywhere in the world by anyone.

As the people called United Methodist, let us not lose heart, but redouble our commitment and efforts to fulfill God’s vision of the Beloved Community throughout the world. As we combat evil, let us not let evil fill our hearts. As we struggle to end violence, let us not let violence become our way of life. As we battle terrorism, let us not become terrorists in the process. As we seek to be vigilant, let us not let fear curtail our hospitality. As we pray for peace, let it begin within our own spirits.

(The quote above is from Bishop Bruce R. Ough, United Methodist Council of Bishops President. It was found here.)

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Because It’s the Cup

When your team brings home the Championship, you remember.

You remember when you were 8 and listening to the final game on the radio with your dad. (1991)

You remember when you were 9 and watched with your family on a tiny tv, expecting your heroes to bring the cup home again. (1992)

You remember being pregnant with your first child and teaching all your southern friends about the joys of hockey in the summer heat…but coming not quite close enough to let them feel the chills of watching The Cup pass from hand to hand. (2008)

You remember your 8 month old resting on your fiancé, keeping her eyes open as you finally got to watch The Cup come home again. You remember the friends you watched the game with, the cars beeping their horns all the way home through the city. (2009)

And you’ll surely remember the feeling of wanting to win but wanting to bring The Cup home on home ice, a chance at a Pittsburgh first since 1960. You will remember your 7 year old trying to keep her eyes open, but giving in during the 3rd period. You will remember your 5 year old son rolling on the floor, begging to learn how to play right this minute. You’ll remember your 14-month-old twins dressing in their sister’s onesies from that last time. You’ll remember your husband squeaking in the door after work, just in time. You’ll remember it’s your pattern, watching a Pittsburgh team win their Championship the night before you start a new job (like the 2009 Super Bowl) in this city that you love, and the feeling of togetherness it brings to a new chapter. (2016)

Because it’s the Cup, you’ll remember. Congratulations, Pittsburgh Penguins!

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(They won't be mad in the morning!)

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7 Years 4 Months 8 Days

…and it is time to start a new chapter in my life. After 7 years, 4 months, and 8 days, my last day with my (current) employer is tomorrow.

I think you can tell I (currently) work for a major grocery retailer here in Pittsburgh. What you might not know is that in my time there in the IT Department, I have done (and learned) so many things…

Retail Support Inventory
Quality Assurance
Process Improvement
Measurement and Reporting
Chargeback
Salesforce Administration
Technology Service Desk
Business Analysis
Project Server
Service Now

And through all that, I learned what I liked about each role. Somewhere in the middle, my heart went and fell hard for Salesforce. Over the past few years, I’ve continued to support the tool while taking on what felt like three more jobs. I didn’t realize how this made me feel until another opportunity to admin the tool for another company came around.

It’s bittersweet, leaving something I’ve known for so long, but I will be just fine in my new role at my new employer. I did it before…leaving teaching and starting this path.

It’s exciting and motivating…and time to start focusing on my growth and health again, too. I’ve missed this girl…but I know she’s hiding in there with a big smile. What’s more…my kids have missed her…and two didn’t even know that version of me.

Happy. Healthy. Hungry for success. That girl.

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What have you started new lately? How did it feel? How did it turn out?

Posted in Becky (Mrs. Burgher), Working Mom | Leave a comment

My First Telescope

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. Evan received the GeoSafari Jr. My First Telescope in exchange for this review. 

My little scientist Evan loves the outdoors. Between gardening, playing soccer, checking on his ant farm…I’m honestly not sure how he has time for any of the things he likes to do inside! When I heard about the GeoSafari Jr. My First Telescope from Educational Insights, I knew that it was something perfect for him.

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My First Telescope

Here are some of the features of this telescope, designed specifically for little scientists ages 4-6…

  • Focus-free, easy-setup (we had it put together in a minute flat!)
  • 10x Magnification with wide field of vision, built-in diagonal mirror, and lens cap
  • Two large eyepieces with comfy goggle and nose cut-out guide for perfect eye placement
  • Adjustable tripod for tabletop viewing (collapsible for easy storage)
  • Multilingual instructional guide showcasing the phases of the moon

Evan started out checking out things like trees and house in the distance during the day and worked his way up to seeing the moon and stars at night. We just might have a ‘lil boy who is up around the clock watching all the things in his ‘lil world around our house, huh?

kid telescope

If you’d like to pick up your own My First Telescope, they are available through Educational Insights or Amazon. This one is recommended for children ages 4-6.

Arianna was gifted a telescope by Grandma and Pop Pop last summer, also from Educational Insights. She wanted to suggest it for other big sisters out there! *wink*

Be sure to go visit Educational Insights on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for information other neat kiddo learning products.

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Friends and Lanterns

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. Our attendance at Lantern Fest PA was one such opportunity.

My eyes are still tearing up every now and then thinking about our night at Lantern Fest.

Lantern Fest PA

First, Greg ended up getting to go with me because the date changed. Yay for semi-date nights. Us married couples need relationship builders, you know?!? 

Second, my best friend Missy and her husband Tom got to join us. I was over the moon – we’ve been overdue for time together (although it did make me want to pack bags and go camping). Greg and I are so blessed to have these awesome friends in our lives.

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Praying for a lifetime of love & happiness for you, friends.

Third, the kids. They loved having time with the four of us and the four of them. They explored the dirt track with Daddy and Uncle Tom, raced on an inflatable race, and helped Aunt Missy and me make amazing s’mores.

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They got it, connecting with the lanterns going up into the night sky. Evan even decorated his with the name of a friend from school which made my heart all into pieces.

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And the girls? They were calm throughout the evening, finding zen when the lanterns went up into the night sky…though it could have been the lyrics to “To Where You Are” (Josh Groban) or “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John) that did that, too.

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Because if you’ve ever heard “To Where You Are” + you’ve lost someone you love + you are lighting lanterns? all.the.tears

To Where You Are

We are all so glad we got to take in the Lantern Fest here in PA, and hope it could become a tradition for us.

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My Choice

Today, the kids and I spent our second to last “just us” Sunday (SQUEE!) walking in the Walk Strong (Walk for Life) for our local ministry dedicated to offering support and education for women (and men) in difficult pregnancy situations. It was a very special day for me because a little over 7 years ago, I made my choice to have a very special ‘lil lady come into my life.

my choice

I made my choice that she wouldn’t be a statistic, “just another” one baby lost among 58 million aborted since 1973. I made my choice that I’d raise this ‘lil girl to become a woman who understood right from wrong. I made my choice to love her unconditionally. I am so glad I did. 

Even more…today was ten years to the day that my world completely changed. The day that I realized men wouldn’t always be loving and kind. The day that physically changed me. I can’t say today was an easy day knowing this, but that means oh so very much. It’s been over 7 years since I freed myself of those chains. It’s been 10 years since I can call myself a survivor. I don’t mention this to stir up emotions, but to remind myself of my strength, the strength given to me when I was weak because God is strong. It meant a lot to walk strong today.

If you’d like to hear more about the organization that we walked for today, check out Life Choices. They’ve been a changer in lives of many people in my area, including mine. I can honestly say without the knowledge of this organization (through my dad), I am not 100% sure my choice would have been the same back in 2008. For this, I am so very, very thankful.

Posted in Arianna ('lil Miss A), Becky (Mrs. Burgher) | Leave a comment

She Walked

You thought this post, she walked, was going to be about one of the twins, huh? Well, that post is coming some day here soon (like when I put the video up), but not today. This is about our oldest, and something big she did today.

Nope, it’s not that it was her last day of First Grade (that post will come another day, too, a day when my tears have dried and I can look at the big girl camera photos). That was big, but not this.

Tonight, she walked (with a friend) to the friend’s house. It’s only a little more than a block away, but this seems pretty big and grown, right? Interestingly enough, Greg and I were just saying last night that that’s how things were when we were kids. And that’s how they are now, our new reality.

She walked, just like I would have at her age, without mom or dad or a cell phone. She walked, and my heart beat so very fast (it had to have been beating outside my chest) until I got the text from the other mom that they had arrived.

But she did it. She proved to me that she can do big girl things and that I will survive. And for this, I am so very proud.

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…and then she and her Bubby got glitter tattoos…

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