Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Family Fun Stuff Uncategorized


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The holidays are over, the tree is at the recycle center, the house is quiet and all that remains is some stubborn glitter from who knows where, which I find in the most random places throughout the house. I like it though. The glitter, that is. When the light hits it a certain way it sparkles and there’s movement to it. If I move my head slightly, I see a different reflection of light. My viewpoint affects how it shines. It’s not magic, it’s science. Anyway, I wasn’t planning on writing about glitter, I just realized how cool it is. Yes, I’m a science nerd. (See my PPS below for the glitter reference!!)

Up until 2 years ago, I always made New Year resolutions. I’d usually write them in November, put my list in an envelope and open it on the following New Year’s Day. I actually never called them resolutions, I called them goals. They’d be very specific, outlining things I wanted to accomplish, relationships I wanted to foster, relationships I’d let go of, books I wanted to read, places I wanted to visit and every year I would write “take piano lessons” on my list. You see, Ron’s very first Mother’s Day gift to me was a baby grand piano. He surprised me with it. I surprised him with this confession, “I can’t actually read music…yet, but I can kind of, sort of, play by ear.” I mean, Heart and Soul is my jam and I can play the first few lines from Brian’s Song pretty well. To this day, I have never had a single piano lesson. So every year, I’d look at my list and cross off all that I accomplished and those *&^% piano lessons would be staring me right in the face, shaking their head in disappointment. So two years ago, Ron gave me the book “One Word that will change your life” written by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page and Jon Gordon, and it resonated with me. I decided, no more New Year goals. Instead, I choose ONE WORD  to focus on for the year. Click here to order the book.
In 2015, my word was PRESENT. As in, being PRESENT. January through April I was helping my daughter Lauren plan her wedding and I enjoyed every minute of it. The wedding was magical and I made sure I was 100 percent PRESENT that day so that I could capture the moments and feelings without any distractions (mission accomplished). A great family vacation, dinners with dear friends, more beautiful weddings, an IRS audit (which in the end turned out to be a rather pleasant experience), some great events put on by our non profit, our second daughter, Morgan, graduating from Chiropractic College (making her the 7th Chiropractor in the family) gave me many opportunities to be/stay PRESENT in the moment. How was I PRESENT? I quieted my mind, cleared my thoughts, allowed myself to “feel” more and think less and simply BE there mentally and emotionally. What I felt was that I was more a part of everything and more connected to the people around me.  I was living in the moments rather than thinking about them. (Future blog post about chronicling your life on face book in the works).
It was a good word and a great year. I did not want to find myself looking back at 2015 struggling to remember what happened and having regrets that I somehow missed out. I lived it. I learned a lot. I loved most of it. I was PRESENT.

What ONE WORD for 2016 will you choose?

Mine? I’ll save that for my next blog!

PS- One of my future grand-kids is getting piano lessons for their birthday. I might even throw in the piano!
PPS- Life is like glitter. Sometimes, all you have to do is change your perspective, even a tiny bit, and things can change and shine more brilliantly. I wanted to make sense of the initial glitter talk. 🙂

Happy 2016!

Family Fun Stuff

Post Wedding Day Bliss

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Ten days ago, our eldest daughter Lauren married the man of her dreams. Today, I still feel like I’m floating on a Post Wedding Day Bliss cloud and my feet haven’t hit the ground yet. Sure, the past 6 months of work that went into the planning of the wedding were intense however, the time that Lauren and I spent together going to Michael’s Craft stores, going for dress fittings, shopping, cutting, gluing, etc., I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Most of the time, we just laughed and had fun. I would ask Lauren to give me 3 things that needed to be done. Once those things were completed, I’d ask for 3 more. She had a big list and her goal was to cross things off every few days. That worked for us. The wedding was spectacular!

The view was decent. Don’t you agree?


The Wedding Bowl La Jolla CA

Sitting in the limo next to Lauren, driving to photograph the “First Look”, Lauren said to me, “Mom, look at my legs shaking?” I asked her if she was nervous and she said “No.” Then she said, “I’ll feel better when I see Matt.” I looked out the window and saw two seagulls perched on a nearby rock. At that moment I realized that my daughter found “her rock” in Matt. Up to that point, her dad and I had been her source of comfort when she needed it. Just then, the two seagulls took flight and flew directly over the ceremony site. I took a deep breath and remembered this quote:

‘There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give to our children. One of these is roots, the other wings.’

I’ve always felt that Ron and I have given our daughters healthy, solid roots along with big, beautiful wings. This was my time to sit back and watch her fly (after I helped her walk, in heels, on a rocky path for a photo op).

I will always remember the vision I had at the ceremony, when I walked down the ramp with my dad who escorted me to my seat and saw all of our family and friends sitting there smiling. It was one of those moments that I will cherish forever. The sight of Morgan and Sydney walking down the aisle with such poise and confidence started my lips quivering as I recalled numerous memories of them posing as bridesmaids for Lauren’s pretend weddings when they played dress-up some twenty years ago. Of course they were confident, they practiced this walk at least a hundred times in shoes way too big for their little feet. Then Lauren and Ron appeared. What a vision. Ron had his daughter on his arm except she wasn’t a little girl anymore, she was this amazingly strong woman and also Matt’s (soon-to-be) wife. She was so present. She looked calm and happy and as she walked up the aisle, I remembered all of the times she was the little bride and pretended to marry her dream husband. I used to zip up her little white dresses as I zipped up her wedding gown only hours before. It was just such a beautiful moment that I wished I could slow down time just to savor it a bit longer. Watching Matt smile at her as she approached him, was one of my favorite moments of the day. I love this guy! Lauren and Matt said their “I do’s“, he broke the glass, we yelled “Mazel Tov”, they kissed and just like that Lauren became a Pennetti! #obernettiwedding

My dream for my daughters is that they find someone to share their life with who they are drawn to. Someone who they innately know is the person that they will create an amazing life with. Someone who they respect, admire and love. Someone who reciprocates these same feelings.  Someone who is as great a man as their father.

It looks like my dream is coming true! the kiss

Fun Stuff

The Beauty of Birthdays

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live forget age

52 Years! That’s how long I’ve been living on this planet today. I’m not a big birthday person. The attention is a bit too much for me and I’ve never fully understood why people give you gifts on your birthday. I’ve always felt that on your birthday, if anyone deserved a gift it’s your parents, specifically your mom. After all, they are the reason you exist.

Here is the Beauty of Birthdays. You can have them be whatever you want. I use this day as a reminder and a day of reflection. The promise I made to myself this morning is this: When women are complaining about wrinkles, aging and their imperfect bodies, I will embrace the beauty that permeates my soul and gently brought me to today. All of the treasures, the laughs, the tears, the amazing people, THE moments, ALL of it has brought me to be ME… who I am today. I have nothing to complain about. Birthdays are just a reminder for me to look back at my life and be thankful, look around and acknowledge all of the incredible people in my life and look ahead and visualize a path that will lead me to where I want to go and then LIVE! I will live in the present, embrace more and fear less. I will continue to touch as many people as I can before I leave this planet. That is my lifelong promise to myself.

AND if the wrinkles come with WISDOM… I’m cool with that! Enjoy this day and everyday!! XO

Family Fun Stuff

My Second Favorite Mother’s Day Gift

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My second favorite Mother’s Day gift was the gift that my three daughters gave me last year. It really was a gift of LOVE(insert sarcastic Hallmark comment here). I figured, I had enough clothing, jewelry, workout gear, power tools, and yes, I even had enough shoes( I can’t believe I just admitted that) so when I was asked what I wanted, I told my daughters that I was going to send them an email with 9 questions and all they had to do was answer the questions and send them back to me on Mother’s Day. Simple. I guess you could say it was a Mother’s Day report card in a way. I always loved getting both sentimental and witty cards with lovely words written about how much they loved me and now that the girls were adults(25, 23 and 21) I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how I was doing as a mom.

Here are a few of the answers I got:

How are you inspired by me?    Mom, you inspire me most by doing what you do every day. So many mothers and wives complain about the work they do, look for acknowledgment, and stress out about little things. You are the perfectly balanced woman, and you do everything so smoothly and you never ever look for someone to acknowledge the work you do. You make being a wife and mom look effortless. You inspire me to be the best wife and mother I can possibly be. If I am half the mother you are, my kids will be very lucky.

How do you feel loved by me?    I think the main way I feel loved by you is that you have always told me the truth. No matter what we ask you, you have always been straightforward and honest with us, even if we maybe did not want to hear it. I think you always told us the truth because you knew that we would grow into the people we were destined to be no matter what. You had 100% trust in the fact that we needed to experience certain things and that from them we would grow and evolve, and your job was to be another vehicle through which we would realize new things and continue to grow.

I feel loved by you because you always put me first. On top of work and everything thing else you have piled on your plate, I know I come first and that when I need you, you will always be there for me. Even when you don’t know what to say, just you being there beside me means just as much. I feel connected to you always throughout every day. And I know I will never lose that.

What are the words you hear in your mind that come from me?    The words I hear in my mind that come from you are “Do you feel this is bettering you as a person?” It’s crazy because, although I have only heard this in a few situations, asking myself that question will forever impact my decision-making. The other times I hear you in my mind are when dealing with others. Although sometimes I might want to rip someone’s head off, I can literally role- play in my mind with you until I find the right words to express how I am feeling.

As I read the answers through teary eyes, I gave myself an A+ in the subject of Mothering. I realized that through the years those girls were watching me and learning valuable lessons. I realized that being present with them was most important and always striving to be a better person made an impression on them. I wasn’t surprised by their answers(except for a few stories that I did not remember) however, I was moved by the depth of their feelings and the extreme gratitude that they expressed.   I marveled at the lessons they learned from situations that I found meaningless. I was thrown in our pool fully clothed during a party at our house sometime around 1998.  Morgan recalled how she was so mad that I was getting thrown in until she saw me emerge from the water laughing and having fun. She learned from that day on, not to take life so seriously and that love and laughter are important. The funny thing is, I learned so much from my girls when they were younger and I learn even more from them today. They are my teachers. They inspire me to be a better person. It is because of them that I absolutely LOVE being a Mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!

PS- If you would like me to send you a list of the questions I sent to my daughters, leave a comment with your email address and I will gladly send it to you.

Mary girls Newport

My favorite Mother’s Day Gift?? The birth of my daughter Morgan born at home, in our bathtub on Mother’s Day, May 13, 1990.