There’s Always One

Every family has that one family member that:

  • Is the keeper of the memories – pictures stored on the computer ready to share with anyone that wanted to see the beauty of her family
  • Remembers everyone’s birthday – without fail, there was always a phone call and a homemade card from Murphy Collectibles in the mail with a few scratch off lotto tickets
  • Has the never ending collection – she really loved her Pez dispensers and Santa – gosh, her collection was soooo large
  • Loves unconditionally – having no children of her own, she loved all, deeply – especially the nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews – we were the ones she would brag about to her friends
  • Everyone would drop what their doing to be there for – after all she would do it for us, without reservation
  • Is unselfish – even in her darkest hour she made sure not to take away a special day from two of her very favorite girls
  • Believes God is good – even when dealt a shit hand, truly believing he knows all and will reveal his plan in due time is what kept her moving
  • Was taken too soon – without much warning, without that last hug, without that last I Love You

For me, my Aunt Kathleen was all these things. She was an amazing woman and will forever be missed by all those that were lucky enough to call her Aunt, Kath, or Murph. Love you always!

“Know you are loved!” -Kathleen Murphy

It’s A Mystery

“I like this school. It is always a mystery.” These words are never more true than in a school setting. Each day is a new beginning, a new chance to get more knowledge than you had the day before. Teachers never know what they are walking into on a daily basis. We all know that even though we can have the best plans, many times we are distracted by other things that come our way throughout the day. For example, the science assembly taking a little longer than expected or not starting exactly on time. Or the fire drill that wasn’t really a drill on the coldest day of the year so far. Or students having a melt down in class because something happened the night before.

Some days start off just the way you planned and then BAM! You get hit with something that knocks you back. You have to expect the unexpected everyday. Because after all, it is a mystery. However, I like to think it is one of the best!

Spring Is Here

Today is the first day of spring. As the weather starts to change, we get warmer days, rain instead of snow, and more hours of daylight. I look forward to this time of year because it shows me that new life is ready to begin again.

Talking with my girls this morning, we discussed many of the signs that spring is upon us. The grass is getting greener and their is no more snow on the ground. The trees are starting to have buds where the leaves will be and there are a few flowers getting ready to start popping out of the ground. Mornings are a little harder to get up because it is so dark outside at 6:30, but it does stay lighter out longer in the evening, which means extra playtime outside after a long day of school and work.

Oh, and there is one more sign of spring that Mollie told me about this morning. The bunnies were out front and they were “fighting”. As I silently held my breath and Ashleigh let out a huge belly laugh, we agreed that the bunnies out front “fighting” was definitely a sign that spring is on the way.

I just hope that the extra “fights” these bunnies were having when I was pulling out of the driveway and waiting for the bus to pull past, does not result in baby bunnies under my porch again this year.

Spring is in the air and apparently so is bunny love!

Almost 100

My sister and I have been having fun the last few months on Snapchat. Each day we send each other a silly picture and a silly saying. Usually it is good morning or good night, othertimes it is about the wine we drink or pictures with our kids and the funny filters. 

This has lasted 93 days. Many times we have almost forgotten, but then we text each other to remind ourselves to send a quick Snap so we do not lose our streak. You see, we have to snap each other within 24 hours of the last exchange. Usually we do this at 6:00 in the morning but on Saturday we sleep in and have to remember to send something on Friday evening. 

The other day we lost our streak because we both forgot to send something later in the day on Friday. Our goal was to make it to 100. So, we are ready to start again. New streak is at 3 days. We are ready to get to 100. Challenge accepted!

Waiting Game

Going to the doctor is always full of waiting. 

Waiting for the nice lady at the counter to copy your driver’s liscence and insurance card for the hundredth time even though nothing has changed in the past 2 years. 

Waiting for the other nice lady to write you a receipt for the cash copay you have every time you go to the doctor, even though you have overpaid in the past and the doctor owes you $50. 

Waiting for your child to come out of the washroom so that you don’t miss your name being called. 

Waiting for the nurse, or doctor, to call your child’s name so that they can be seen in the next available room. 

Waiting in a dark room, with eyes closed so that the eye drops work properly and then we can finish the exam

Waiting for another diagnosis, or problem, or maybe this time good news that the eyes are working with the glasses to keep eyes straight. 

Waiting…always waiting. 

Little Conversations

Today I had to watch 4 students so that their older sibling/cousin could go to track tryouts. My little friends played in my office with my Disney Vinylmation Mickey Mouse statues, Disney Magnets and a few other Disney treasures that I have in my office. Here are a few of the snip-its of conversations that happened while they were patiently waiting.

DW: Holding 2 statues – Statue 1 says “See this machine, can you infer what it is?” Statue 2 says, “I’m sorry, I don’t infer.” (The Machine was a Disney jelly bean dispenser.)


DS: Mrs. Andruch, we are moving?

Me: Oh no, where are you moving to?

DS: Don’t worry, I know you will miss me! We are moving to Chicago, but I know you will miss me.


DS: Mrs. Andruch, who is in this picture and where are you?

Me: We are at an aquarium. That is my husband, my daughters Mollie and Ashleigh and me.

DS: Why don’t you put this where you won’t forget them?

 Promptly places the picture frame on my desk, right on my mouse pad.


All the kids were playing with my vinylmation Mickey Mouse statues and they found a pile of old lunch detention slips. DW passes them out (to the statues) and says, “You have a lunch detention, you have a lunch detention, and you have a lunch detention. But don’t worry, you don’t have them until tomorrow.” I couldn’t help but think about Oprah passing out lunch detentions to everyone in her audience as he stated this to the statues.


Kids say the darnedest things!



Today I was able to go “home” earlier than anticipated and was reminded why I will always call my parents’ house “home”.

Home always smells the same. From the smell of the cigarette smoke to the smell of the plugged in air freshener, I always know I am home when the smell touches my nose. Today there was no amazing smell from the kitchen because it was 3:00 and my dad was not home yet to start cooking dinner, but on most days when I stop over, it smells like something amazing is cooking in the oven (meat, meat and more meat).

Home has always looked the same. The living room furniture is in its 30th year of being in the same place. We were never allowed to sit on the couch or chairs unless there was company. The dining room has been arranged in the same way for 30 years – nothing has changed except that there has been a few new coats of paint on the walls thanks to my brother-in-law. Bedrooms have changed over the years, but my mom’s love for Disney has not, she even has a room completely dedicated to Mickey Mouse and his pals now that we are moved out.

Home is a place where I feel like doing chores is a must. I often do dishes when I am there and today I even shoveled half of the driveway for my parents. I don’t have to shovel my own driveway because we live in a townhouse and pay for that service. Then my dad reminded me that I could have used the electric snowblower (what would have been the fun in that – we never got to use that when we were kids).

Home is a place where I am always welcome. No need to knock at the door, just walk right in. No need to have a key, just open the garage with the code. No need to call ahead, even when no one is home, just wait around and someone will show up. If not, leave a note and stop by another day.

Home will always be home. Even my phone says so. There is a distinction between “Home”, which I have known for 37 years, and “Our home” that I have created for my family. I hope that my kids will remember “Home” the way that I do.