When the going gets tough….even the tough want to say screw it.

pebble photoWhen the going gets tough....even the tough want to say screw it.

When the going gets tough….even the tough want to say screw it. And get pissy. And complain. And yell. And cry. And then realize we are not doing anybody any good. Not ourselves or those around us.

I know heartache. I know being completely broken and not even remembering how to tie a shoe. I am not there like that now, thankfully. However, sometimes life comes at you in so many directions you feel overwhelmed, and it’s hard to even breathe. “Leave me the hell alone” is what you want to say to some. And “Come here and show me you freaking care” is what you want to say to others. Stumbling over the pebbles, so to say.

As I was sitting in my own little pity party funk tonight, the three under my roof all came to me separately and showed me in their own way to snap out of it. Through drawings, bath time play and through mere comic relief. I’m thankful I have them and thankful I have those in my life reminding me to appreciate these times.

When the going gets tough…Here I go. I’ve got a mountain to climb. Thanks to those that help me pass all the pebbles.


“What’s your High?”

That sounds kinda weird, huh?  Your High?

Well, that’s what we (my family) hear when we are all situated as a group around the dinner table.  It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like…which would be 7 days a week…but it’s definitely better than a 50% ratio.  “What’s Your High?”…and “What’s Your Low?” is a game we play around my dinner table as long as I can remember. We go around the table and everyone has to say what their highest and lowest points of their day were.   I don’t recall when it started (at some time when Jamie, now 21 years old, was little) or where it came from, but it almost always is the “High” of MY day.  (…ask the kids…they recite in unison when I am asked what my High is…mocking me…”Dinner together with you guys“…while kind of rolling their eyes!)

This game is never done quickly.  It always dovetails into another shared story of the day or a memory of days gone by.  The usual answers pop up on a consistent basis… High? Recess/lunch.  Low?  Getting up early for school/chores.  But every now and then, an unusual topic comes up.  About a peer, a family member, a feeling…good and/or bad.  

It’s these quiet (and not so quiet) times that life is happening.  Choices are being made that need guidance. Choices are being made that need applauding…or re-direction.  Thoughts and feelings are coming out naturally and unexpected.  

Please…all that read…NEVER underestimate the power of dinnertime conversation!!   

My “High” today? Pizza-movie night with the kids.  Jamie snapchatting  me good news (that could’ve been really bad news!).  Emily offering to bring me lunch.  DJ grabbing his sister a glass of water because she was coughing…without me asking him to.  Kenzie playing with my hair and being my only movie bud!  Bray for snuggling in with me at the end of the movie. Being able to get a run in. Chatting with my sis about fitness.  Getting a compliment from a good friend that they think Wendy = grace under pressure.  

My Lows?  Who the F*&% cares!


So, “What’s your High?”

“How do you have time to do everything?”

“I don’t”.

I just had a long blog typed and edited and re-edited it. I just erased it all. It’s as simple as this…

I don’t have time to do everything…but when I go to bed what sits heaviest with me is “are my kids happy? Did I do what I needed to for them? Did I do a little more than that for them?”

I wonder if they see me as a failure or a Mom they are proud of. The rest of my family, my friends, my boss, my co-workers…I worry about pleasing them, too. But at the end of the day…My kids are what rank on my “pleasing” meter. And when I say pleasing, I mean bring them joy in some manner. That comes in many different forms.

As I was putting the finishing touches on my silly, food-colored shamrock on shepherd’s pie for dinner tomorrow night, I was wondering why I do that. I guess it’s my little way of saying “I love you guys” and that they are worth putting a little extra effort into to seeing a smile on their (rolling their eyes) faces.

I don’t have time for everything…but there are some special people in my life worth going the extra mile for.

The Mom with laundry to do, dishes in the sink, trash that wasn’t taken to the curb last Thursday…shall I go on?

Weeknight Quick and Easy Chicken Caprese


I am just too tired at this point to do a detailed recipe…however, this was just too delicious not to share!

This is just boneless skinless chicken breast, filleted,  pounded down to 1/4-1/2″ thickness.  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season and throw on a preheated grill on Medium for about 5 minutes per side until no longer pink.

Top the cooked chicken with slices of plum tomato and fresh mozzarella and put under a broiler for a few minutes until cheese starts to melt.  Garnish with a drizzle of good quality balsamic and a dab of olive oil…and freshly diced basil. Serve with roasted asparagus…my favorite!!

I could eat this meal over and over!!!




To Blog or not to Blog….

I have received so much response from this blog (and even just about my random Facebook postings).  Whether it’s a friend questioning if I share too much – or to the other extreme where another friend is praising me on my courage to bare my soul to print.  It has had me pondering my desire to blog, what motivates me and why it feels good to do so.  

What I come back to is a conversation I had with the priest I grew up with.  One who I saw regularly, even though I wasn’t attending church…or even remotely a practicing Catholic…or ever even opening up a Bible.  See, I did administrative work for him.  Organized the collections from the weekly services and got them ready for deposit.  Wrote out Christmas cards.  Various things that as time went on were difficult for him to do. My sisters actually started doing this when they were teens and as they grew up and moved on it naturally fell to me. It just kind of stayed with the family.  My close friends and family knew I was unavailable for a block of a few hours each week as I was “counting money”.  It wasn’t a typical relationship one would expect with a priest.  I don’t recall, even once, us having a conversation about scripture.  It was all bout life…and death…and  more life.  He would discuss people I grew up with that were getting married, had died, or were in the police log for various crimes. About human nature and why people are the way they are.  About accepting all people for who they were…everyone has worth.  About relationships.  We talked a lot about that.  Even though they weren’t long conversations…they were frequent.  He would always leave me with a thought and walk out of the room…leaving it to resonate.  

“God didn’t create us to walk the earth alone.  We are meant to share our life with another person.”

He said that to me many times.  At that moment it made me feel for him.  He lived a very simple life.  He, himself, lived alone…obviously, as a priest.  He lived a simple and noble life.  He lived far below his means and gave whenever he could.  I loved how he gave, too.  People would forever be ringing his bell at the house while I was there.  Asking for help.  I would hear the stories and the woes.  I heard how he empathized with them.  He would give them help…and they earned it.  “Here’s $20, there’s a rake over there and the lawn needs a cleaning”.  It was never a “hand out”.  He was an amazing man and his death a few years ago only falls second to Michael’s as the person who I lost that so deeply impacted me.  The things that comfort me are the fact that I now know God, I have opened the Bible and I know that his person he shared his life with was God. That’s who he walked the earth with.  That’s who he died with, even if not being surrounded by loving family and friends the way I think it should have been.  But in saying those previous words to me…he was talking not about himself.  He was saying that for me.  Encouraging me not to lose faith and to know it was okay to press forward and to find someone new.  Someone to share my life with.

That’s where my blog comes into play.  This is my place to share.  If you go through life without that person to share it with…it just doesn’t have the same joy.  Whether it falls on deaf ears or I see that hundreds of people have read a post, it is still the same feeling when I hit “publish”.  My experience, thought or even just a recipe…has been shared.  Of course, I prefer if SOMEONE reads it and I like feedback…but the sharing is what it’s about for me.  For now, this is who I am sharing life with.  I am not walking this earth alone. 

Thank you Father Thomas B. Morgan. I’ll blog on…. 

“Excuse me, but do you know who my husband is?!”

Mildly embarrassed, I call down to the hotel desk operator.  I have sweat on my brow due to running from one bathroom to the next, each on separate floors (while cursing under my breath).  All I want to do is get in the shower so we can check out and start our day of fun around the resort.


“Hi there, this is an odd question…but how the hell do you turn on the shower??!!  I just can’t figure it out!!”

“Mrs. Auger, that is not an odd question.  We get asked that all the time.” (She proceeds to tell me as I squirm a little due to the “Mrs.” reference)

“Thank you very much!”

“Mrs. Auger, I wanted to ask you, are you traveling with your husband this vacation?”

“Ummm….No?  I am here with three of my children.”

“Oh! That sounds like fun! Well, next time you are here with your husband, we would love to show you around the resort!” said a little too cheery for my liking at this point.

“Excuse me, but do you know who my husband is?!” said probably a little too dryly.

“No, I don’t!” she said a little too enthusiastically.  I am thinking she was half expecting a movie star or prominent political figure.

“Well, neither do I.  Maybe when I am here next time you could introduce me to him?”

Brief awkward silence.

“Ummm…Mrs….Ms. Auger, you are more than welcome to join the tour with us today if you’d like?”

“No, but thanks.  Have a nice day.”


I am curious to know the conversation that ensued in the hotel lobby after my phone call.  Poor girl…in their defense…I WAS the only single parent there vacationing with my kids.  All pretty much two parent-two kid families…which is a nice ratio, to be honest, when vacationing.  I just like to keep it interesting.  For me AND the staff.