Friday, May 29, 2015

5 Tips for Surviving the Family Road Trip

Road Trips With Kids Raleigh Moms Blog

“On the road again…just can’t wait to get on the road again” are song lyrics written by a man who clearly has never carted 8 related children around in a church-sized van. Doubtful he’s ever had to listen to “He’s kicking my seat, she’s got her feet in my face, they’re eating all the popcorn or the baby is pinching me” for nine straight hours.

Seeing as my beloved and I decided to raise our group far from family, we’ve had to master the art of long distance road tripping with children in order to visit all those aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Maybe I should clarify a bit because my husband’s current work schedule allows forces him to relegate the annual trek to me alone (I know he’s really weeping when we’re all gone and he’s stuck in a quiet house with his stinky cigars and the TV remote). To better facilitate our journey and prevent me from losing my mind in the fast lane of I-95, we’ve developed a few rules for the road.

Read my 5 tips for road trip sanity HERE at Raleigh Moms Blog

Monday, May 11, 2015

Being a Matisse Woman: Seeing Beauty in the Natural Form

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Henri Matisse - Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Ground
Henri Matisse – Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Ground
Giggling, two of my little boys made their way in my direction (poking and shoving all the while). The 9 year old was toting a hardcover book in his hands which he promptly thrust in front of me just as I took my second bite of lunch. His 6 year old cohort looked on with a smirk, as he determinedly flipped through the pages until he'd reached the one that had caused their giddiness.

“Mom, look at this,” the older child commanded. “She's naked. There are naked pictures in this book!” After glancing at the full page graphic of The Artist and His Model, I spent the next several minutes (between bites) explaining the beauty of the human form and the awesomeness of bodies. However, at some point during my educational speech they did what little boys do, they drifted off in search of some new distraction.

Finding myself alone with the book, I took the time to scan the pages for myself. Certainly, Henri Matisse's talent was undeniable and his subject matters included everything from the female form to a Catholic chapel, but I found myself, like my sons, fixated on those nudes albeit for a wholly different reason.

READ the rest of my post on Raleigh Moms Blog

Friday, May 8, 2015

Some Mothers Will Have Empty Arms This Mother's Day

mother's day when your baby has died
Dimitri Mikhail and me, his mama

Freshly picked bouquets stacked in bunches, lovely hydrangeas planted in bright pink pots, cards spilling out into the store aisles and 1-800-BUY-HER-THIS commercials repeating on the radio: all reminders that Mother's Day was on the horizon. Envious, I longed to be pampered, fussed over and honored. Desperately, I wanted to expect cards in the mailbox and notes in my inbox. I fantasized about getting one of those carnations they give out to all of the moms after church.

I wanted to be just like every other mama on Mother's Day.

But I was not.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Confidence and Strength Win Out During the Girls On the Run Spring 5K

strong girls run GOTR in 5K

Bright and early on a clear, crisp April morning here in the Triangle, one of my darling daughters and I laced up our sneakers, dusted the yellow pollen haze from the jogging stroller and made our way to the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. I’d scored tickets for the Quintiles’ Girls On The Run that was taking place in the Bull City. Being our first ever 5K run, we weren’t sure what to expect.

Let me back up just a bit first and admit that when I entered the online giveaway I was REALLY hoping to win the family portrait session. I was already pondering what clothes my crew of kids would wear for the picture when I received the email congratulating me for having scored two tickets to Girls On The Run. I chalked it up to just my luck and decided this was the push I needed to finally get into shape.
READ the rest HERE

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Pictures Nancy Left Behind

Without a word, he stretched his long arm behind her frame, which seemed particularly petite standing side by side with him. Gently his open palm came to rest on the small of her back. Sensing his touch, she leaned in, just slightly, toward his broad shoulder. They didn't speak in audible tones. Their attention was directed forward as mine should have been, but for some reason I was captivated by the tenderness of their moment.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

God Is Impatient: a teenager's reflection on the Why? of death

new life comes after winter' dying

Why? It's the question bouncing around my mind. Why?

Just as my pain becomes bearable, just as I feel like maybe I can start to go back to being the person I used to be, I hear the news. A beloved and wonderful mother, a parishioner of St. Joseph's Church, is expected to die, and tonight. Why? Why does death always seem to follow me? Why are the people we love so cruelly snatched away? Why aren't we allowed just a little bit longer with them?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Indiana's Memories Pizza Owners Scored for the Right Team: Keeping Our Eyes on the Goal

Like a swarm of bumblebees that buzz one way and then the other, their little bodies bump and rub as they move in unison after the rolling target. The air is booming with commands, but the rush of adrenaline has rendered the players deaf. Just as some tense on-lookers bound from their seats, arms waving wildly, the pint-sized leader boldly takes the perfect shot straight into the goal. The proud victor beaming, he turns to receive the expected praise. But all his fans can muster are feigned smiles and wagging heads because the happy player, who'd forgotten his team's colors, has just scored a goal for the OPPOSITION.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bird Song: a poem by Sasha Brelinsky

I suppose writing is in the blood here in Brelinskyville. My daughter, Sasha Terese, wrote this poem recently for a poetry contest being held at our local library.

Bird Song

Up in a tree,
on his brown seat,
out of his throat,
comes a soft tweet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wasting Our Treasure on Christ: A Meditation on the Woman with the Alabaster Jar

Michelangelo Caravaggio 063.jpg
Michelangelo Caravaggio

Shortly after having given birth to my first darling daughter and fourth child, someone suggested that I seek employment working with special needs children. I hadn't been soliciting advice or job hunting, but I guess the messenger found it reasonable to imply that we should move beyond baby-making seeing as we'd finally managed to have that elusive girl-child and that our dream of having a large family had been fulfilled (according to societal standards).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Never Stop Dating Your Spouse: Local Date Night Ideas

Triangle Date Ideas...On A Dime Raleigh Moms Blog

Once upon a time my sweetheart and I used to date each other. At about 4 o’clock on a Friday, we’d throw together plans to grab a beer at the karaoke bar, get a bite to eat at our favorite local restaurant or catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster playing in the theater.

Then along came children, one by one, transforming our tiny, self-indulgent circle. Suddenly, our unscheduled opportunities vanished. Every outing now required careful planning and multi-party coordination. There were babysitters to line up, a diaper bag to stock, budgetary constraints to consider and a clock to watch. I have to admit that for the better part of a decade we set dating aside
READ the whole article HERE

Failing to Be Sensitive to a Child's Differences

Embracing Different Learning Styles

“Why? Why didn’t she just follow my example? Why hadn’t she been able to figure it all out just the way I wanted her to,” I considered. I didn’t resort to yelling, but my disappointment was probably clear as I began pointing out her mistakes. She asked to be excused from the project and I obliged. Seeing as the ornaments were part of the fund raising, I had to jump back in and complete the task myself. It took me the latter part of the night which provided me ample quiet time (okay, when I say quiet time in a household of ten I mean internal quiet) to think about what had just taken place at that counter top.

A bit of guilt poked me as I considered my daughter’s glassy eyes... READ the whole article HERE

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Mangy Cat and the Mercy of God

The mews from beneath our trailer instigated some investigation. Following the faint cries, my husband crawled under the mobile house and emerged with a tiny kitten in hand. Unaware that a mother cat had chosen the underside of our home as her birthing place, we were even more surprised to find she'd left this furry offspring behind.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Catholic Conference 4 Moms Available for Purchase

 This post contains affiliate links

Did you attend the 2015 Catholic Conference 4 Moms? Want to listen again to those inspiring talks or perhaps hear the ones you missed? Is there another mama you just know would benefit from a little mini-conference? Looking for some guided discussions for your Mother's Morning Out group or co-op gathering? 

Now you can have it all in one place, all 27 talks from this year's conference, plus a bundle of extras. 

The whole conference is on sale for $39.99, but if you use my discount code BRELINSKYVILLE you can purchase all 27 presentations plus the bonuses for just $29.99.

Here's just a few of the bonus items you will receive with your discounted purchase:


Catholic Vegetarian Rocks Dinner for Twelve: 20 Meatless Menus with a Side of Humor Ebook by Celeste Behe 
$8.95 value
The 2015 Conference Discussion Guide  This Discussion Guide contains questions and discussion starters for every presentation.  It is the easiest way to get your mom's discussion group talking.  Simply show one of the videos, handout the questions to your group leaders, and you've got the perfect mom's meeting--simple, meaningful, and inspirational.


The Mysteries of the Rosary with Kelly Saints Craft Kit includes 34 pages of templates including
$13.00 value

To see all of the bonus items (which includes 3 more books, 4 Catholic Foodie Podcasts and 3 valuable coupons) and to order your discounted copy of the conference head on over to CatholicConference4Moms 
and select the Purchase Conference option at the top of the page. Then be sure to use the discount code BRELINSKYVILLE 
to receive $10 off your purchase.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pop Up Something Yummy: Home Made Pop Tart Recipe

My kiddos like Pop Tarts, but the only time we ever buy them is when we'll be cooped up in the van for an all day (or two) road trip. Convenient and tasty treats hand-held treats, nutritionally the commercial variety can leave a bit to be desired. So, when I stumbled across a recipe 5 years ago I thought I'd try my hand at making home made pop tarts. However, those that know me know I don't cook. My kitchen skills consist of cookies, brownies and a rare cake; therefore, it has taken 5 years for me to actually give the recipe a turn in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Stranger's Gift and Adam's Lasting Memory

Eleven o'clock on a Saturday, I found myself doubling back through the church parking lot in a frantic attempt to secure a spot for our big family van. Anticipating sparse attendance, I had left home with a bare minimum of time to spare, but from the looks of the overflowing lot my assumption had been wrong. Conceding a legitimate space was no where to be found, I stopped the engine beside a landscaping bed and ushered my children out.

Seconds after we'd crossed the social hall, someone swung open the heavy church door allowing the music to escape. Like a punch to the gut, the cantor's familiar
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