Definition of Strength

The Quality or State of Being Physically Strong

When we think of strength, more often than not we think of people who lift ridiculously heavy things over their head because… well I don’t know why people do that. Me? I think of my grandmother, affectionately dubbed Nannie.

No one could rock a hat and feather boa quite like this gal.

Now don’t get me wrong, my Nannie certainly wasn’t lifting weights like a bamf, or cruising the gym scene. But no matter, strength is still one of the first things I think of when I think of her. She was strong. And truth be told, if you annoyed her enough she could have easily knocked some sense into you, or followed through on her threats to put you through the wall. Of course she never did do that, and the Lord knows that took strength.

No, Nannie had a different kind of strength. The other definition.

Or a checkered bow for that matter.

The Capacity to Withstand Great Force or Pressure

Yeah, even this does not seem to encapsulate it completely. My grandmother’s strength was just more. So much more.

Her strength was in her hands, that crafted food and clothes for her loved ones, brushed our hair despite our complaints and determination to look like wild children. It was even in that pesky index finger that would point at you when you did wrong as she set us on the right path.

She needed cattle prods to keep these two in line!

It was in her arms as she hugged us tight, as she held our children, and carried us when we stumbled on our path. Or as she physically separated us when we decided to try our hands at MMA fighting.

Clearly debating life’s mysteries.

It was in her eyes as she watched all the silly little plays we forced our families to endure when we were young, or our truly cringeworthy attempts at concerts when clearly we were not musically inclined. (We actually still do this. It’s still cringy.)

It was in her voice as she soothed our worries, healed our hurts, eased our insecurities, and empowered our faith. It was there even when she gave us the hard truth we sometimes needed to hear.

It was in her mind as she listened to our stories, from the mundane to the fantastical, from the happy to the sad. She once listened to me prattle on about a band I loved for nearly the entire ride to New Hampshire though she had no idea who or what I was talking about. That takes strength, as now my daughter does the same and I’ve yet to last an hour.

Gluttons for irish music.

It was in every aspect of her actions, because her strength was so far beyond the ability to withstand. Her strength was her ability to withstand and create. Create a home. Create a family. Create a shelter for all of us when we needed it. Create a future.

Again with the hat!

Her love, her heart, her strength shaped our futures, and now we shape others. That is her legacy, and I can only pray that I will be able to teach my daughters and future grandchildren to be as strong as Nannie taught me to be.

Words cannot express how much you are treasured, and how much you will be missed. May you not facepalm too much while you watch over us from heaven. Love you.

Doherty Matriarch (March 19, 1930 – March 5, 2020)

Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís, Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú.

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand

Music: A Thought on Moods

I have decided that music has the ability to directly affect my mood. Driving into work today, my Pandora sucked hardcore. Literally I maxed out the skips on 6 different stations. I went from a decent mood, to a raging psychopath in the span of my 1 hour commute. Not pretty.

But after trudging up the stairs and fixing myself a second cup of coffee, I started up my Pandora again. I did so hesitantly as I was still mad at it for playing such craptastic selections, but I can’t work in silence. Immediately it played Foo Fighters. It was a wonderful apology. I forgave it. Taking it to the next step, it followed up Foo Fighters with ACDC, then Foreigners. And before I knew it, I was in a fabulous mood. I just knew today was going to be a great day! I was even ridiculously productive – scheduling a handful of meetings, and attacking my unread inbox liked a crazed, caffeine-influenced maniac. It was beautiful. Glorious even. Nothing could ruin my mood!

Then Pandora played U2 and I contemplated throwing my laptop out our second story window, then going outside and running it over a million times with my SUV, followed by an aggressive use of gasoline and fire. Productive mood depleted.

Thanks Pandora, you sadistic thing you. I’m switching to Spotify.

Universal Law: Mondays Must Suck

Today is one of those days where “I just can’t even.” Literally, stapling papers together today seems like an odious chore. I look at my expenses that need sorting, and its giving me a stress headache. Don’t even get me started on my email inbox. The glaring (180) next to the line Unread Inbox may send me into an all over panic attack.

Perhaps its because I took Friday off to take the kiddos to Disney on Ice – (Seriously? $15 for a damn lemonade? Disney sure is ridiculous!). I am always out of whack after a long weekend, or a vacation. Perhaps its because I stayed up too late watching T.V. with my husband last night, knowing full well that my alarm would go off at 5:30 A.M. with annoyingly accurate precision. Or, most likely, its because no matter what happened, today is Monday and universal law decrees that Mondays must suck. I’m going to go with that.

Plus my hair is having a shit-fit. And I have a blister from my shoe. Why don’t we just add in a zit and make this an extra special Monday? I need more coffee to combat this.

So, how is your Monday going? If you say good, I may hurt you.

Divorce: A Letter to Vent

Sometimes, Divorce happens. It’s a fact of life. This letter is written by a good friend of mine. Three months ago, her husband of 8 years left her. He claims it was because he was unhappy, that he no longer loved her. The girl on the side he was seeing had nothing to do with it, of course. His ex-girlfriend… from when he was 15. Yes, you read that right. See, this man, if he can even be called that, left his wife of 8 years and two beautiful girls for another woman. When did he do this? Why two weeks before Christmas.

For as long as I can remember, her husband, whom we shall go DB, has been a man of control. Things were done his way, because his way was best. Everyone else fell in line beside him. This is one of the many reasons he and I never saw eye to eye. In fact, frequently I contemplated stabbing him in the eye. To help my friend vent her feelings, and set the record straight, we have decided to post her letter here. She is the author over at Thoughts of A Reluctant Housewife

“Okay… take a deep breath. One… Two… Three. You are going to be fine, just get up and go.”

This may sound like someone steps away from tackling their fear of heights by plummeting to the ground attached to a bungee cord. Or perhaps the internal pep talk of someone about to make an important decision that could shape their life. But it is not. This is what I tell myself every morning, and sometimes even in the afternoon. You are going to be fine.

See, 15 weeks ago, my husband left me. Not just me, but my two daughters as well. Since then, I have made tremendous progress. I am well on my way to healing, and moving past the hurt. I know that I am better off without him. But that doesn’t mean dealing with everyday life is easy.

To give you some background, I thought I had a great marriage. In December, I had gone to Disney World with my parents and kids. My husband had gone to meet an ex-girlfriend for coffee, which he told me about. I did not think anything of it. We have been together for 12 years, and he dated this woman very briefly at the age of 15. I stress the very briefly part. While he was out with her, apparently he realized that he had feelings for her. So in his impossibly thick skull, this meant he could not possibly love me. So he told me he wanted to end it. Over the phone. He ended our 8 year marriage after a supposed 1 date with an ex from his childhood over the phone while I was in Disney with our kids. And now, 15 weeks after he declared he wanted a divorce, he is moving in with the other woman and her daughter to a place over an hour away from where I, and our children live. He has elected to only see his daughters 4 days a month. It was his choice.

That means I have primary custody of our two little girls. Their care is 100% on me. Shortly after he moved out, he took a month off from the girls. He was “too stressed” to take them. HE was to stressed? Before he left, I was a stay at home mom, which was a mutual decision. But when he left, it became a reality that after 6 years, I would need to re-enter the work force. Luckily, I was able to get a job as a florist, a job I had been doing before becoming a stay at home mom. However the transition was very difficult. So I started a new job, which I could only do part-time, and became sole caretaker of my children in the span of 3 weeks, and he takes a month off because he is stressed?

Through this all, DB assumes the only reason I am upset about his actions is because of my own feelings for him. Let me assure you, I do not want him back. I cannot begin to explain the feeling of disgust I have for him. What pisses me off is his disregard for our children, my children. He hasn’t seen them in weeks, and has scarcely spoken to them on the phone. And the first time they saw him in a month, he introduced them to his new family, without any regard for how they were doing to all these radical changes. 

If you were to ask my ex, he would claim I have it easy. He would claim that I receive child support, that it is more than enough. It is not. Nor does it make up for his absence in his children’s lives. What about when they are sick? Who is the one leaving work and picking them up? I am. Who is the one tucking them in at night, giving them baths, caring for their hurts and their boo boos? I am.

So yes, every morning I tell myself that I can do it. That I will make it. That I will be okay. I will let him concentrate on building his new family, while I work on gluing back the pieces to my own. Although we may have some cracks and chips, I know that my girls will be okay. My new family of three, we will be okay.

– M

Want to see more from Megan? Follow her blog, Thoughts of a Reluctant Housewife.

Apparently I’m a Bad Parent

Message of the day: no matter how you parent, someone is going to tell you that you are wrong, that you are horrible, and that you should have been neutered. You can’t please everyone. Why bring this up? Well I received a rather interesting email from someone I interacted with (briefly I might add) on social media. It was regarding a comment my 4 year old daughter had said that I found cute, and decided to share. What was this comment that spurred such a heated letter? What horrible things did I allow my daughter to say?

“Mommy, when I grow up I’m going to marry a girl and we are both going to be princesses!”

Call the police, call social services, and while your at it, why don’t you call a priest! (That’s sarcasm, for those of you that lack a sense of humor.) This person was so completely stricken that I did not punish her for saying such, what did she say… oh yes…”heinous and ridiculous statements.” And how could I be such a “disgusting, sinful villain posing as a parent,” for no “true parent” would not allow their child to say such awful things. And what’s worse is that I was okay with it. That’s right, I told my daughter, “You can marry whoever you want.” The atrocity!


First, my daughter is 4. Two weeks ago she wanted to marry her Grampy. I mean she marries her stuffed bear every weekend. Are you going to freak out and accuse me of allowing her to take part in bestiality? Well crap, you probably would.

Second, if my daughter grows up and wants to marry a woman, then she grows up and marries a woman. Does that affect your life? No, pretty sure it doesn’t. Unless of course she marries your daughter, in which case I will see you at the wedding. Forgive me if I punch you in the face. I promise, it will be an accident. Sort of.

Third, how is it that every generation finds some magical thing to be offended by? First there was the fight for equal rights for blacks. Then there was the fight for equal rights for women. Now its a fight for equal rights for those of a different sexual orientation. Are you seeing a trend here? People want to be equal. Why not let them? So what if you view it as sinful, its not like their actions are your sin. So kindly shut your trap.

Fourth, maybe I LIKE being a villain. Villain’s get to have more fun. And they look cooler doing it. And they get the cool powers. So there.

Just Like Mommy

It has been happening often over the past few weeks. The indisputable proof that my daughter is my child. Don’t get me wrong, I know she is my daughter, I was present during the labor after all. But its the little things that prove she is in fact a miniature me.

Don't let that smile fool you...

Don’t let that smile fool you…

For example, she is a sarcastic little brat. Yup. That’s right. I called her a brat. With her big brown eyes, and sassy little mouth, she shoots out a retort that leaves you momentarily speechless. The way she props her little hand on her hip, and somehow manages to look down on you, despite being a good 2ft shorter than you. The way the sides of her lips tilt up in a cheeky smirk, and her little eyebrows raise in a perfect arch. She. Is. Me. Well except the eyebrow thing, I cannot for the life of me make my eyebrows do that.

Last night, the little she-devil got into the fluff. I noticed she disappeared into the kitchen for a good few minutes when it suddenly struck me. She was getting into stuff. Not just any stuff, the fluff I had just used for their hot cocoa. (Because fluff is way better than those puny marshmellows SwissMiss gives you) As I move, loudly I might add, towards the kitchen, she pops her head out with an innocent smile.

“What were you doing?”

“Looking at stuff.”

“Oh? What were you looking at?” She lets out a dramatic sigh and looks to the ceiling.

“It’s a kitchen, mom, I was looking at kitchen stuff.” She’s not even 5 yet, she’s not allowed to call me mom! I am still mommy, dammit!

“So the fluff on your face just magically got there?” The dramatic look drops off her face, and she immediately tries to hide the evidence.

“I didn’t eat it.” Uh huh. Magic fluff. At least she didn’t blame her sister, I view this as an improvement.

As I investigated the kitchen, it would appear she hadn’t been able to get the cover back on the fluff in time. So I put on my angry mom face, hands on hip, and stare her down.

“Are you supposed to stick your finger in Fluff, or any container of food for that matter?”


“And should you lie about it?”

“No.” At this point she is rocking a pout. A full pout with the big doe eyes. Not falling for it. So I tell her she can’t have dessert. The pout morphs. It becomes something I am growing very accustomed to. Pure sass.

“Really mom? Like you don’t eat fluff?” Color me surprised! I do sneak a bit of fluff every now and then! Darn her! After a quick agonizing moment of that sassy, sarcastic smirk, I finally find a retort.

“I use a spoon! Now go wash your hands!”

Kayla: 1….. Mommy: 0

Women of Worth


Originally, I had a post planned for today to cover something simple, something fun about raising kids in 4 feet of snow. It’s great, I promise. No sarcasm there… Anyways I had fully planned it, and even took fun photos to share. However while waiting in line to purchase my life fuel, a.k.a. Dunks Coffee, I overheard a rather interesting conversation. The words are pretty spot on, thanks to my memory. Although my memory only works well when its something that pisses me off. Here it goes…

Person 1: “I know, I can’t believe it. Some people these days.”

Person 2: “But yeah, if they don’t hire her, she will assume she’ll probably claim prejudice.”

Person 1: “It’s got nothing to do with that. I mean she hasn’t worked in like 5 years.”

Person 2: “I can’t believe she expected to get the job even though she hasn’t been doing anything but “raising kids.” (This person even did the quote gesture) I did that too, but I still worked. It’s not like this is the south where they have 5 or 6 kids popping out.”

Person 1: “Raising kids my ass. She lives in Chestnut Hill. I guarantee you she had a nanny.” (This person then laughs, which annoyed me further.) At this point, I am just seconds away from saying something, but I bit my tongue. I hadn’t had my coffee yet, and it was 9 degrees out, so I knew if I opened my big fat mouth it would be to lay waste to their puny existence. But do you know what is even more horrible about this? It was two women, who were mothers (deduced from their conversation), talking about the other woman as being less than them.

Women often feel that they have less advantage in a work environment because men look down on them. We fight for equal rights and equal stance with these men, but what about equal stance with other women? Is a woman who stayed at home raising children any less valuable to a society than one who worked instead? Is a woman who worked any less of a mother than one who stayed home? No. They are both valuable, and they are both mothers. .

Women want to be treated as equals to men. They want to be on the same footing, the same pedestal. Yet at the same time, they put down other women. Working moms put down stay-at-home moms. Stay-at-home moms put down working moms. How can a woman gripe about the unfairness of gender bias, when she does the same thing?  

Perhaps this is a rant, but I couldn’t help it. I don’t know the woman they spoke of, maybe it was a type of position where the gap could affect her performance, but still I think those two women at Dunks need a kick in the damn teeth. Quit bitching and start respecting.

On a happy note, they made my coffee right and I am in bliss. 

A Year, and Then Some

Hello_logo_smHello there. It’s been a while. A very long while, in fact. A year? Maybe more? Either way, I have decided to come back. 2014 was a rough, hard year. More downs than ups really. I took a long break from the social world, the demands of day to day life too consuming to be involved in anything more. 2015, I hope, will be a year to remember. A year that will work with me, instead of against me. Then again, 9 days into the new year found me at home with a concussion, possible compressed nerve, and some nice hearing loss thanks to a car accident. But, I walked away from that accident pretty damn lucky if I do say so myself.

Either way, I am determined to make 2015 a new, wonderful year. A part of that resolution involves reengaging in the social site. There are many things in the world that are affecting out day to day lives as parents, and I want to create a place for parents of every style to have a place to share their thoughts. Welcome to the new and improved Kay Froebel.

I’m Sick. Again.

I hate the type of colds where no amount of medicine unclogs your nose. The type where you blow your nose and nothing comes out. Even those stupid “nasal swelling” medicines don’t do jack. Breath right strips? What a joke. It just expands my nose, allowing for more of it to stuff up.

Not to mention when I get a cold, it almost always travels to one of my eyes. Yes, that’s right. I get one bloodshot, watery eye that makes me look like I am giving the stink eye to everyone. And I sound like a dude. A sick dude. A seriously sick dude. Not appealing at all. In fact I will answer my cell phone, and people ask to speak to me, thinking that its my husband suffering from a cold who answered the phone.

Winter is not a sexy look on me.

Stay healthy everyone. If you sick, stay the hell away from me I have my own problems to deal with!

Damn You, Cookies!

There are certain times of the year that I suddenly feel a strong sense of ineptness as a mother. The Holidays are one of them. Why? Because I can’t bake. I want you to read those words again. I really want you to understand how bad at baking I am. Even my soon-to-be four year old is suspicious of trying any sweet I produce, especially if it came from the oven. Instant things like pudding, yeah I am okay at those. I still manage to screw them up every now and then though… I won’t lie.

Burnt CookiesMy inability to bake edible things stems from my aversion to following directions. I will admit that when it comes to cooking, I am as against following directions as a man is at asking for directions. What does this have to do with motherhood? Duh. Everything. Okay that’s not true. But seriously. Watch ANY holiday movie, and the women are always baking up a storm with cookies, brownies, cakes, and other sugary delights that make my mouth water. I am lucky I can make pre-made, pre-cut Toll House cookies. Even those I tend to burn to an inedible degree. Hence why I don’t cook them. (Cookie dough FTW)

Now before all you non-baking moms flay me, I am not saying that mothers who don’t bake are bad mothers, it just makes ME feel like an inept mommy. Like I just assumed that when you had children, you were downloaded with all the mommy traits, like baking. I should have known my download was busted when the whole patience thing wasn’t uploaded to my skill set, but still. I just want to bake some damn cookies with my kids! Instead, can I just go through the whole process, and then just skip the cooking part? Yes, I am talking about eating the cookie dough, or brownie dough, or cake dough. (If you lecture me on the whole eating raw egg bit, I will end you.) Is that cheating? Probably.

Part of the reason I am such a novice baker is that it requires exact amounts of things. I don’t cook that way. When I cook, I usually go based on scent. I never measure anything. I don’t even think I have a full measuring cup set, and I know for a fact I don’t have those measuring spoon thingies. I am a pretty good cook if I do say so myself. But baking… it just won’t bend to my will!

Who needs cookies for the holidays? I mean, its not like cookies matter right? Oh wait…. yeah they kind of do. Man, I fail.

Think the kids will be okay feeding Santa meatballs?