I haven't given an update recently so here goes:

  • is FINALLY having some success with potty training. Joe is the genius behind the potty training plan here...you'll have to ask him how he masterminded his brilliant system! :) It is working really well and we actually only had one accident yesterday and one today! YAY! Roman is very proud of himself and very much enjoys all of his prizes.
  • Roman is also going to hold Joe to his promise of buying him a puppy once he got potty trained. He talks about dogs more than ever. Actually, we have some neighbors that moved in across the street a few months ago and recently, when we were playing in the toy room, we saw them outside with their dog. Then a couple of days later, we were outside doing sidewalk chalk when they pulled into their driveway. We exchanged "hellos" and then Roman yelled across the street "You have a dog!" The woman kindly responded "Yes, we do. We also have a cat." Roman was very impressed with this, "You have a CAT??" They nodded and went inside...but Roman continued to yell "Are you going inside to see your dog and your cat?" Nice.
  • Today Roman told me he needed to go potty and so he got up and walked toward the bathroom. I was reading to Judah at the time and so I said "Do you need me to come help you, Roman?". This was his response: "I'm just gonna do it myself and you can read Love You Forever to Judah". Awwww.
  • climbs everything...including couches...which is terrifying since he really doesn't know how to get down.
  • is talking up a storm: bubble, go, more, please, all done, puppy, mommy, daddy, hi, bye bye, "go-nee" for Tony, yeah, baby...and probably some more I can't remember :)
  • loves books. His favorites are "Love You Forever" and any book that includes a picture of a baby or has different textures to feel.
  • will push his big truck over to the window so he can climb up and look out
  • loves playing in the pool with Roman
  • makes the funniest face every time he sees Tony
Anyway, they are keeping me very busy and they are always making me laugh. Love those little guys!



This is another favorite recipe that I absolutely have to share. I discovered the Tasty Kitchen site a few months ago and I'm officially addicted. I have to be careful not to read it late at night, though, otherwise I want to eat.

Here is the original recipe for Ree's "Restaurant Style Salsa"...and here is the Pometto version of the recipe. We just made a few changes...like more onion, because more onion = more deliciousness, and we added some peppers for extra spice and chunkiness. :) ENJOY!

  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
  • 2 whole chopped onions
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, diced, with seeds
  • ¼ teaspoons Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • ½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
  • ½ whole Lime Juice
  • assorted chopped peppers
Basically all you have to do is throw it all into a blender or food processor until you reach the desired consistency.

I love you, salsa, for being so delicious and nutritious. And yet, I despise you because you make me eat chips all day. :)


Father's Day

I used to dread Father's Day.

As many of you know, my dad passed away when I was young. There are countless other people who struggle to get through each Father's Day without their dads, whether it be due to death, divorce, deployment, abandonment, mental illness, miles of separation, or some other extenuating circumstance.

Whatever the case may be, it makes for a tough day. Awkward. Painful. Silent. Lonely.

But, that's actually not what I want to write about. I want to talk about a story of redemption. A story of blessing after years of pain.

You see, I loved my dad so very much and I miss him everyday. But, even in the loss of my father, God always managed to bless me with Godly men in my life...men who cared for me as their own daughter/sister/friend.

I obviously can't list them all here but I have to give a few examples because I don't think I could ever really express how thankful I am to have had them in my life. (I'm going to try to go in chronological order)...

  • My grandfathers, Ted and Ralph, for being strong, steadfast, gentle, hard working, loving, and kind.
  • My uncles: Dan, Tim, Daryl, and Mike for loving my dad and being willing to tell his story or tell me that he would be proud...even when it was very difficult to say.
  • My brother, Jim, for acting like a big brother even though you are younger than me! :)
  • Jim Ott. He was the pastor at my church camp,and was/is an incredible example of a Godly man. I will never forget the conversation we had one summer about how I was struggling with not having my dad in my life. He told me to go read the book of Joel...what I found was that God plagued the land with locusts, and then repaid them the same number of years with blessings. That brought me so much hope.
“I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten.” Joel 2:25

  • Very appropriately next: my amazing husband, Joe. I never say enough about him, but he is hardworking, sweet, and the best dad ever. Our boys are so so lucky! He is a thoughtful and helpful husband, he is always willing to serve. He is my hero. Dream come true. :)
  • Some pretty amazing guy friends: Adam, Ryan, Phil, Jon, Andrew, Dameon, Jeff...the list could really go on and and on...and could include some of their dads - i.e. Mike Babbitt! :) These guys have treated me as their sister, have done so much for our family, have been good friends to my husband, and have shown me a lot about true masculinity.
  • My brother-in-law, Tony. We like to call him "the creepy man in the basement". :) Yes, he lives with us. He is hilarious, tender hearted, and we will miss him when he moves out...especially Roman and Judah...they so look forward to lunch with him everyday!
  • My father-in-law, Tony. If you could dream up the best father-in-law ever, you would get Dad. Joe gets his servant's heart from his dad. He is willing to do anything for his family and you will never meet a sweeter man. He has so much character and is the best Grandpa ever. He has always treated me as his own daughter and I will never forget our "father-daughter" dance at our wedding. Cutest ever.
  • Joe's uncles, for accepting me into the family!
  • Fr Dennis, Fr Richmond, and all kinds of other priests that have been spiritual fathers in my life!
So, basically I am super blessed. I am truly grateful for all the men in my life...the ones on this list, and all of the others who have been so good to me. Love you all.


Fumbling and Frustrated, I Surrender

His fingers fumble with the wrapper.

He has earned a sucker for cleaning his plate and he is so proud. He is grinning, picking at the wrapper, reminding me again, "I ate it all".

He turns it round and round, pulling at the waxy blue paper. His brow is furrowed in concentration. The pulling starts to get more aggressive...

I lean over, my face close to his face.

"Would you like some help?"

"No! I don't want some help"

He is persistent. He starts again...but in vain.

He yells out in frustration this time. No words, just a yell.

I lean over once again, looking into his big blue-gray eyes. I take note of the quivering lip.

"Honey, why don't you let mama help you".

"yes." He seems to feel defeated somehow.

I unwind the wrapper, drop it on the table, and hand him his prize. He perks right back up, satisfied with the reward.

Psalm 18:6
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried
to my God for help. From his temple he heard
my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 108:6
Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold
of your right hand and says to you, Do not
fear; I will help you.


In the Third Year

Dear Roman,
I can't believe you are three already! In the last year we have experienced so much life together and I don't think I will ever be able to tell you how thankful I am for each moment I have spent watching you grow up.

In the last year, you:
  • have been such a good big brother
  • have been the ring bearer in two weddings
  • took a lot of trips to the zoo and to the library
  • were a pirate for Halloween
  • made dozens of cookies with me
  • survived our first road trip to South Carolina
  • aquired a love for dance parties
  • have gotten really good at letter recognition and phonics
  • are starting to get over your fear of dogs
  • have gotten so much taller
  • have gotten so much funnier
  • have not budged on your picky eating habits!
  • have made lots of new friends
  • have gotten so good at conversation
  • have made me laugh every day
  • have brought me joy every day...even on the days when you sat in time out more often than not :)
  • have brought tears to my eyes...some in frustration, some because the moment was so bittersweet, some in pride, some in laughter...all in love.
  • have changed my life for the better
  • have changed a lot of lives for the better
  • have challenged my faith by saying some of the most profound things I have ever heard (even from adults).
  • have done a lot of other things, but mostly, you have become such a big boy.
...but, tonight...all I can think about is this:

We are so proud of you, Roman.

All my love always,


The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Here is a beautiful excerpt from the homily given on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart last year by Pope Benedict XVI:

The heart of God burns with compassion! On today’s solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the Church presents us this mystery for our contemplation: the mystery of the heart of a God who feels compassion and who bestows all his love upon humanity. A mysterious love, which in the texts of the New Testament is revealed to us as God’s boundless and passionate love for mankind. God does not lose heart in the face of ingratitude or rejection by the people he has chosen; rather, with infinite mercy he sends his only-begotten Son into the world to take upon himself the fate of a shattered love, so that by defeating the power of evil and death he could restore to human beings enslaved by sin their dignity as sons and daughters. But this took place at great costthe only-begotten Son of the Father was sacrificed on the Cross: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1).

Three years ago the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus happened to fall on June 15th...which happened to be the day that God blessed us with our first child.

We thought for sure Roman James would be born on the 14th, but God had other plans. After 24 hours of labor, 10 hours of pitcoin, 40-some hours of no sleep, being just 10 minutes into the day of June 15th...

with one last gasp for relief, one last life-giving push

...I shed the final tears of pain and began to shed the many tears of joy.

That day God showed us a tiny fraction of the kind of love that he has for us...the love of a Father who would die for his children, the love hidden within his Sacred Heart.


One year ago today...

getting ready to go to the hospital...but first we had to take a few minutes to play squirt guns with Roman. :)
brand new Judah!
he was wide awake...
...and we were so in love.
Happy first birthday, Judah! It's a bittersweet feeling saying goodbye to your "baby" days, which we treasured, and saying hello to your little boy years...which we are so excited to share with you. We love you so much and you bring us more joy than words could ever say.

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah
Genesis 29:35