“You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile!”

As the song says, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile!” and Molly was smiling from ear to ear when she got to go see the national tour of Annie in our hometown on Friday night. Refer back to my previous blog post  “The Sun Did Come Out Tomorrow” to read all about how my husband won us the tickets.

The day started out with Molly excitedly springing out of bed knowing the day had finally come that she would be able to put on her Annie dress and go see her “idol” live on the State Theatre stage. I had a pretty hard time keeping her occupied all day but was happy when she told me she wanted to take a nap so she wouldn’t be tired for the show.


Daddy came home from work and we started getting ready for our big Mommy Daughter date night. I curled her hair, to the best of my ability since she is only 2. And we put on her dress and “fancy shoes”. When she came down to show off how beautiful she looked, Daddy was waiting with her very own Annie locket. 12745584_691034320857_3485367003706740872_n

We finally were ready and on our way. She told me I looked like Ms. Hannigan but I know she meant that out of love. Ha Ha!


From the moment she walked into the theatre she was in awe. Her eyes focused on the Annie merchandise and I knew I was in trouble. She had a hard time deciding between a t-shirt and a doll. But then said “Doll Mommy! I love her!” So I payed for the overpriced Annie doll but it was so worth the smile and kiss I got in return. Besides maybe one day she will pass it down to her daughter. Priceless!12524280_10153939319694210_3087660203260199890_nShe ate up all the attention that she was getting in her mommy’s Annie dress. She was already singing and dancing as we got ushered to our amazing box seats.

As soon as the orchestra started she clapped, smiled, and started singing during the overture. My eyes welled up with tears that I got to experience such a special time in her life. She was completely fixated on Annie & the orphans. And for a toddler at a musical she did a great job. There was one moment that was comical. During the first black out she yelled out “Hi Miss Meghan!” to her teacher that was seated in the orchestra below us. As the lights came back up Miss Meghan was laughing and gave Molly a wave.Thank God that was the only thing that happened out of the ordinary. I kept candy on hand for her during the slower parts and she sat happily munching on M&M’s and Twizzlers between her dance brakes. The women next to us said she was enjoying Molly more then the show and all the week long worry I had on how she would behave went completely out the window.


As the show came to a close she was on her feet cheering and clapping for Annie & Sandy. “I love you Annie!” She yelled out to them. And then as the curtain closed and the audience filed out into the night she had the biggest meltdown EVER! Why?!?! Because she couldn’t go on stage and see Annie. She cried all the way to the car about that but as soon as she saw Dada she said “I loved the show Dada! Thank You!” And with that a very tired little girl was carried up to bed after the night of her life, by her very own Daddy Warbucks.

Today my heart weeps…

Today my heart weeps. Two families have to make the gut wrenching decision to say good bye to two women at very different pathways in life. They never got to know each other yet lay just a room apart in the same ICU. Two souls who have been there for beautiful moments in my life. One for the celebration of my marriage. One for the joyous birth of my second daughter.
A beautiful 24 year old with so much more life to live. We can only hope that she knew how much love we had for her.
A caring wife, mother, grandmother, & great grandmother who at the age of 68, never let the sickness of her body hold her back.
Their journey that brought them here was drastically different but the outcome is the same. Two beautiful souls traveling to their eternal resting place together. I take comfort in the fact they are crossing over together. I regret that I did not know that as I said goodbye to one of them, watching a machine do the work of keeping her young body there with us to do so, the noise from the machine in the room next door was keeping the other one alive.  I do take comfort  as I walked through the hall I prayed for all the patients there at the hospital. The ones there for the happy times and the ones who were there for the sad. I prayed for the nurses who were there doing tasks I can never imagine. And I prayed for the families who shouldn’t have to deal with such heartache no matter what the age of their loved one is.
As a daughter I could not imagine watching my mother slip away from me. As a mother I can not fathom the heartbreak & pain.
So I ask you to pray. Pray for the doctors, the nurses, friends, families, and most of all the souls of these two beautiful ladies who are earning their wings.
I love you Alayna & Ruthie! I hope you both know that.

The Sun DID Come Out Tomorrow

Last week was TOUGH! I failed at everything! Being a wife, a mother, an artist, a writer… EVERYTHING! I just know that something had to give or I was on the next bus to the looney bin for sure!

Our local state theater was running a contest call “Nuts About Annie”. The contest required you to write a short essay about why you loved the musical Annie. The winner would receive two box seats tickets to see the national tour of Annie the musical. This was a contest I had to win, not only because of my life long Annie obsession but because of the addiction that I passed on to my oldest daughter Molly. Who was named after one of the orphans in the show might I add. I HAD TO WIN! We just didn’t have the money to go otherwise. So I said my prayers and let the words flow.

I was blown away by the outpouring of people writing on my behalf. The fact that they took the time out of their busy lives to put into words why I should be a recipient of this awesome prize, brought me to tears. I too wrote on our behalf and although I really wanted to win anyway possible, I secretly prayed that my piece would be chosen! I needed that validation that I could win! That last week was just a fluke! That could be a good mom & write a “award winning piece”.  Well as fate would have it WE WON! But it was my husbands letter that sealed the deal for us. Now don’t get me wrong I was SO EXCITED for Molly and I! I cried tears of joy because we were going to be able to have this amazing experience together. BUT COME ON! Matt’s letter won? Dang it! He was in the doghouse and now I had to let him back in. HA HA! My ego as the creative writer was a bit shot, the fact that he got the glory kinda sucked, but the excitement of our Annie obsessed toddler made those feelings seem so ridiculous as she exclaimed: “I’M SO EXCITED!” And leap’n lizards is she! She is on a full Annie countdown!


Below you will find Matt’s moving submission that he wrote for the contest. I am happy that my girls have a daddy who takes the time to write nice things. It will be a memory that will last a life time.

To Whom It May Concern,

When someone say that they are a truly nuts about something, it’s hard believe them unless you see it first hand. There are people out there who are crazy about The Beatles, or The Muppets, and even McDonald’s (like my grandfather). I can tell you, however, that there are people who are truly ‘Nuts About Annie’ and the biggest one of them all is none other than my wife, Melissa. 

At a very young age, Melissa sang and danced her little heart out many times a day to the beloved movie of Annie.  Since Melissa was an only child, she had to use her vivid imagination daily and with the help of the Annie record, that her father couldn’t stand, she was able to do so.

She would constantly believe that she was the little red-haired girl who longed for her parents to come and pick her up at the orphanage and dreamed that her own home was Daddy Warbuck’s billion dollar mansion. 

As Melissa grew up, she continued to express her creativity through sports and theatre, but it wasn’t until a near death car accident in her 20’s that made her focus her efforts on other avenues.  She decided to go back to her roots and continue on her love of theatre.  She did this by joining the cast of Annie at a local theatre company.  I find it truly fitting that the show that would soon help her theatre career grow was none other than Annie.  Although I didn’t know her at the time, I am still told to this day that she was phenomenal as Lily St. Regis.  

Her love for theatre, performing, and making the audience laugh continued on and eventually I entered the picture.  That’s when I found out how much of an Annie fanatic Melissa truly was.  She would share stories with me of how she would parade around her the house in her Annie dress singing, “It’s A Hard-Knock Life,” along with many of the other iconic songs from the show. She also exclaimed that not only did she have the red dress, she also had the commemorative plates, the action figures, and Warbuck’s Duesenberg car. Crazy! I know, but that’s how nuts she is about Annie.

Once we got engaged and started planning our wedding, it was a bumpy road for Melissa. About three months before we were to be wed, Melissa was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had three major surgeries that left her disheartened because we were informed that we were most likely not going to be able to have children.  This was very hard on the two of us, but it was extremely crushing for Melissa because she always dreamed of having a family and being able to share experiences she had when she was younger with our children.  One of those experiences was the love of Annie.

We finally got married in November 2012 and at our reception, we paraded down the hall’s staircase to “I Don’t Need Anything But You.”   I didn’t have any say in this one and I certainly wasn’t going to start a fight because I knew that it played a significant role in her life.  After trying for months to conceive, we finally got pregnant and had a baby girl named Molly.  There are many reasons we named her this, but the main reason is because of the lovable character in the show.  It was only fitting that we did this because we also have a dog named Oliver (Warbucks).

Even though Molly is young, she, as well, has become a huge Annie fanatic like her mother.  This past summer all she wanted to watch or listen to was Annie.  There were days where we would watch it two or three times and believe it or not, it never got old to her.  Every time Molly watches the show, she has to be wearing Melissa’s Annie dress.

Now, I mentioned before that my wife is involved in theatre and I am, too.  Besides performing at the local theatre company, I also run the theatre program at the school I work at and we just finished our amazing production of Annie last month.  I chose to do the show because not only is it a classic in the world of musical theatre, I wanted to have my students do it in honor of Melissa, Molly, and my other daughter Madeline.  Melissa worked countless hours finding costumes for the show because she wanted to make sure that the cast looked their best and was ready to shine on stage.  Opening night was the first time that any of them saw the hard-work and energy the students put into the show.  The cast also knew how much Melissa and Molly loved Annie, so they didn’t want to disappoint them.

As the show commenced, Molly was up in the front row with Melissa singing and dancing her little heart out as the cast stomped, scampered, and pranced across the stage.  Molly kept begging to go up on stage because she wanted to be part of the action.  It was one of the greatest things I could have ever witnessed.

I am truly blessed to have someone like Melissa in my life.  She endures so much on a daily basis by being a stay at home mom to Molly and Madeline, who only are 18 months apart.  To her, every day must feel like the life that Miss Hannigan led, but I know for a fact that she loves every minute of it.

In my eyes, Melissa is truly Annie.  She keeps going through life dodging the obstacles that are hurled at her every day.  She is optimistic about life and wants to make sure that everyone is happy and always laughing.  I know it may sound corny, but she is the Annie to my Oliver Warbucks.  She came into my life at the right time and helped groom me into the man I am today.  She has to deal with my grumpiness and hard personality, some times, but she makes the best of any situation, just like Annie did.

In closing, if you really have to pick a fanatic who is ‘Nuts About Annie’, then you should pick Melissa Bigelli.  She is very deserving of this honor and I know she would love to share a special night with Molly as they bond over a show that they both love with all their heart.  I wish that I could send the two of them to the show myself, but we only live off my low teacher’s salary.  Times have been very tough for us and nothing would make me happier than to see the two of them walk out our front door the night of the show and see the smiles on their faces as they head down to the theatre.  I know that as that night progresses and comes to an end, they will have a memory to share that will both last them a life time.

Thank you for taking the time out of your crazy day reading submissions for this contest, to read my entry.  It was an honor being able to share my thoughts and feelings about an amazing human being.  


Matthew Bigelli


What’s the opposite of writers block?

Sorry I haven’t blogged in the past few days. So much stuff going on that my mind is just way to crowded to put it into words. Besides you need to be able to filter how much dirty laundry you want to put out there and make yourself vulnerable with… Right?

So I will sum up the week with this…The girls are full blown CRAZY!

Molly is in her temper tantrum stage of the terrible twos.

Maddy is teething and although she is smiling as much as her poor little heart will let her she is not her happy go lucky self at all.

Everything else is a cluster****! AHHHHHHHH!!!

I will close with this wonderful image that popped up on my Facebook newsfeed because it is very fitting.image1-2


Blown Tires & Bruised Butts

Daddy was off from work for a four day weekend. We decided to take the girls down to Peddler’s Village to play at Giggleberry Fair. It is a great indoor play area for the girls and they love it! Of course the favorite thing to do is the carousel. Madeline was in heaven since she graduated from sitting on Mommy’s lap in the sleigh to actually ridding on the animals as you can see..






Molly was tall enough that she could go into the big kids section with her dad and they both worked up a sweat and had a ton of fun! We spent 4 hours playing games and eating pizza. A perfect little family get away until the ride home…

12717327_10153907523444210_5762636145085843723_n.jpg                                           We blew a flat tire while driving down the road!

Thank god it happened where it did. We had a super safe place to pull over, there was plenty of daylight, and we have AAA. I told the operator that we had two sleeping babies in the car and they were there with in twenty minutes to put on our spare.

Our SPARE! That is another story. My husband decides to throw himself on the ground to see where our spare is actually located under the van and trips me. I fall back and bash my tailbone on the rocky side road and boy did I see stars! I don’t know if I bruised or seriously hurt my tailbone, all I know is that it HURTS! I can’t sit, I can’t sleep, everything HURTS!

So besides those two bumps in the road within an hour we already had a new tire put on the van & we are now safe to travel on our next family road trip.

The bumps along the way are not always what we plan but they add to the memories we are collecting.

Terrible Twos, Tantrums, & TuTus

Terrible Twos, Tantrums, & TuTus

From 0-60 is pretty much the speed of life with a two year old. From a loving little girl who just wants to kiss and cuddle, to a monster that is drawing on her sisters face and pulling the dogs ears. It is just crazy how quickly the attention span and attitude of a toddler can change! One minute she wants to put on a tutu and dance around the room and then in the blink of an eye she is a naked and laying on the floor pretending to make a snow angel.

Yep the attention span of a two year old is laughable. Demands of playing play-doh and coloring can go on for hours, but by the time you finally drag everything out and set it up they are already on to the next thing.  Some days I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry because as frustrated as it can be she is hilarious and it’s hard to hide my laughter.

12661824_10153903557764210_959150585470286474_nToday she went to dance class & decided to hang of the ballet barre. Never a dull moment with Little Miss Molly Mae!

I think the thing that terrifies me the most is people say that three year olds are really the bad stage of a toddler life. My girls are only 18 months apart! So there is no light at the end of the tunnel for quite some time. BUT I am so going to enjoy this rollercoaster ride of motherhood because I LOVE IT!

Hello? It’s Me…

Motherhood is the most rewarding thing in the world, hands down! I love spending nearly every waking moment with my girls and every sleepless moment thinking and worrying about them. That being said it is crazy how lonely motherhood can be. Maybe people think that they are still in my life because I share so much of it on social media. That’s my mom’s theory anyway, she says people probably feel very involved in my life because they are virtually a part of it on a day to day basis. I guess I can totally see that being a reality, or lack there of.

Life is busy. When you bring babies into the world you need to just let your life change drastically and be content with that. This week is especially hard on me because for the first time in 13 years I am not involved with the Valentines’ Murder Mystery. I had to sit this one out for a number of reasons, health issues, the kids, Matt’s crazy grad class schedule. But I am truly sad that the show, as they say, “must go on” without me. If you know me you know that this has to be the biggest thing I have had to give up since becoming a Mom. I use to LIVE for Murder Mysteries! I hope that this is a one time only thing and that I will be back in the saddle next year. By then, I pray my health issue is gone and thankfully Matt’s grad classes end in May when he graduates! Yay!

12654112_10153899755884210_7398520622428833045_nSo yes my life has become messy bun, coffee, leggings, Target, #themomlife, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I just hope that I can find the balance of not truly losing myself among the tutus, dollies, and juice boxes.


Mama said there’d be days like this…

Mama said there’d be days like this, then again, Mama or in this case GiGi, thinks these little angels do no wrong!

I often gave my parents a tough time about being an only child. Now I can see why they decided to go this route. KIDS ARE EXHAUSTING! Holy Moly! These two are tag teaming me left and right lately! Thank God they are adorable. I knew that having two babies only 18 months apart would be a handful, rewarding, but a handful. I enjoy watching Molly (age 2) and Madeline (9 1/2 months) interact and play with each other, BUT I swear they are secretly communicating to take me out. I see them scheming in the corner when they are “playing” with their princess dolls. “LET’S DRIVE MOMMY NUTS IN 5,4,3,2,……” I try so hard to keep my cool. Actually, I often have to turn my head so they don’t see me laughing at them being naughty because it is hysterical. BUT I do see myself turning into Maleficent’s dragon form in Sleeping Beauty and I have to hold my breath to keep the fire from steaming out! I don’t want to be “that Mom” you know “old yeller”, but I don’t want to be the mom who’s like “look at my babies, they are so cute, they do no wrong, la la la la, ohhh look a unicorn”!

So for now, I pray that I can “just keep swimming” and remember “you’re never fully dressed without a smile”! Your living your dream, Mama! Enjoy it because before long these beauties are going to be running out the door, not needing you anymore, and then you are really going to have something to worry about!

**Disclaimers** I am blessed and I know that so please don’t take this as complaining! Also I know I have horrible grammar so please look past that… I went to Bangor after all! 12662416_10153888249024210_6494434128019616791_n