Kiss Me I’m Irish, Really!

St. Patrick's Day banner

I’m a Quinn. Never really thought about that last name much, but I’ve done a bit of research for this post. I wanted to know more about my surname. My husband knows quite a bit about his father’s Scottish surname and history. He hails from the McLean Clan. I reasoned that I needed to know more about mine as well. We are competitive in that way. Plus, I have the added boon of an Irish holiday to spur the curiosity.

Here goes.

Quinn Clan Coat of Arms

Quinn Clan Coat of Arms. Pretty cool Pegasus.

Irish Derivation is Ó Cuinn.  It means the descendant of the Conn (or chief). Quinn is the Anglicized version, and can be spelled Quin,too. It hails from the legendary High King of Ireland, Conn of the Hundred Battles. Sounds pretty impressive, right? Conn is derived from ceann (or head) which signifies someone of intellectual ability. Pretty much sums me up, don’t ya think? I also found out that the Catholic descendants spell the Anglicized versions with 2 N’s and the Protestants with 1 N. Probably made those religious battle lines a tad easier to distinguish later in history. The most prominent Quinn clan hails from County Clare in Ireland. They date back to 1014 and Niall O’ Cuinn, who was the first to use this surname before dying that year at the battle of Clontarf.  Quinn’s began immigrating to the British North America as early as 1685 with David Quinn landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Other means of migration occurred with soldiers hired as mercenaries in Europe, the resultant aftermath from the Protestant Reformation, the lure of freedoms and wealth in the New World, and smaller crop famines throughout Ireland’s history. The biggest influx of Quinn settlers was during the Great Potato Famine of Ireland in the 19th Century.

I hail from the Quinn’s of Wisconsin. I’m really not sure how they got there either. My dad left there as a young adult and joined the Navy. He met my mother, who hails from a Baron that signed the Magna Carta, in Florida. Modern day Quinn’s move around and migrate, too. Our family ended up in Virginia thanks to the military. Good thing… cause I don’t really enjoy the cold. Although if I could afford or take the time to knit a Quinn Clan Aran sweater, I might feel a tad warmer.

The Quinn Clan Aran Sweater.

The Quinn Clan Aran Sweater.

I had no idea that each clan had a different pattern for their Aran sweaters. It looks toasty doesn’t it. It also looks like it might take me 10 years to knit.

So, I think this St. Patrick’s Day I won’t wear green. I will just tell everyone that I am Irish, that I hail from Niall O’Cuinn, and that my blood runs green. Oh, and I will gladly accept any and all kisses from “hot” guys instead of pinches.

Oh, and just to prove I’m legit, I signed up at The Home of the Quinn Clan and received my certificate.


This may have to go on the wall.

New Year, New Resolutions, New You!



Anybody else shocked that 2013 went by so quickly? I know I am… This year I will officially have some big kids in the house. A 12 year old, an 8 year old, and a 7 year old all under one small beach cottage roof! That is a ton of boyness and all the smelly stuff that goes along with #momof3boys syndrome.

Onto more important issues now. NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!

Yep, I said it. The “R” word that everyone and their brother spits out once January 1st rolls around, but no one mutters a week later. I feel we should continue to talk about these resolutions throughout the year. Goals and intentions make up “resolutions” and it is our desire to always be better that drives us to set these every new year. So, how do you make a resolution? How do you keep them once you make them?

Here are 4 ways to make your resolutions better and you a better person in the process.

1. Goals are part of a resolution. Goals should be attainable and of interest to the person making the goal. They should be specific enough to have focus but not too specific to be counter-productive. Goals should also be positive and have a good effect on your life and others around you. Here is a great goal worksheet from lululemon athletica. Click on the PDF  vision_goals_worksheet to download your own copy.

2. Intentions. Setting intentions for the new year is also important to make your goals happen and effect positivity in the world around you. Intentions guide your actions and your aim. Make your intentions positive and bring them back to your goals. Use these intentions to direct your life.

3. Find a partner in your resolution setting. A partner keeps you accountable. A partner also motivates you to keep chugging along. Your partner should be someone that is positive and makes you a better person. My partner is always my husband. He is the supportive person I need to hold me up and encourage me to follow my intentions and attain my goals. Each year, we review what we did accomplish and have an open discussion about what we want to do in the year to come. 

4.  Resolutions should be rooted in what makes you happy. Too many times, we sacrifice our happiness for the everyday life. But, I really don’t think we have to do that. I think our everyday life should be happy. Yes, we have chores and other ‘jobs’ that must get done to make our lives run smoothly. Find your HAPPY. What will it take to get there? Then do it! Happiness should never be sacrificed or pushed to the side.

Here are a few of my Goals for 2014:

1. Finish my NARM PEP and sit for my Certified Professional Midwifery exam.

2. Attend and receive my Olympic Lifting Certification through CrossFit. I am already registered for the seminar in March at my CrossFit box!

3. Hold an unsupported handstand.

4. Get a strict pull-up and ring dip.

5. Help my family save money for a house renovation. This means finding extra money in our family budget.

6. Find expression through blogging, crafting, and creating.

Good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions!

Holiday Traditions. Don’t got ’em? Get Some!

What are your Holiday Traditions? 

Traditions are important. I love them. They are tied into my fondest memories from childhood. I try my hardest to build traditions with my boys – unique to our family- and instill in them traditions from my past.

Traditions give symbolic meaning and special significance to our holidays… they keep us connected to our origins and our pasts. Fall heralds the holidays… These holidays are filled with tradition in our family. This past Thanksgiving we made a paper “Thankful” banner. Each person in the family wrote on the banner exclaiming what it is they are thankful for in life. We hope to add our “thanks” each year and build upon these blessings. What a wonderful reminder of what we have and those around us to share these “thanks”.

thankful banner

Every Christmas season my family <meaning the girls and the kids> gather and bake cookies. Lots and lots of cookies! My favorite sugar cookie recipe is here at Martha Stewart. The kids decorate the cookies and gorge themselves on sugar. Then we package the cookies and mail them to family far away. We consider it a box of homemade love. It seems stressful and chaotic in the moment. That is mainly because there are 3 cooks in one kitchen. But, as my sister’s family prepares to move cross country to Arizona, this tradition will have a more important impact on the family. Next Christmas we will be sending each other these boxes of love. This tradition will mean more to my kids and me.

We also spend weekends watching our fave Holiday movies. Here is a good list for movie ideas.  Not all the movies on the list are kid appropriate. Our must sees each year are Elf, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone. These movie days are excuses to slow down and just chill on the couch. With a fire in the hearth, cookies in our bellies, and snuggles under shared blankets, those movies are made special by the laughs from the boys.

Come Christmas morning we have fun opening presents that repeat themselves each year. There is always a wrapped gift with a humorous T-shirt for each person in the family. The funnest part is picking the shirt for the person. The kids also know that there will always be a pair of socks from the cats and pajama bottoms from the dogs under the tree. 

This year we are adding the Pickle Ornament to our fun traditions. Here is what contributors say on Wikipedia. I bought it today at Target for $4. A Google search finds many buying options if you can’t find one locally. I chose lots of sparkles. Cause, who doesn’t like a sparkly green pickle ornament? I have already prepped the kids, too. Here is how it will go at my house… We will hang the ornament in the tree until Christmas Eve. Then, the kids will take it down and place it by the cookie and carrot plate left out for Santa. They also plan to leave a note asking Santa to hide it well. Santa will then rehang the ornament but in a hidden location in the tree. The first kid to “eye spy” the pickle will be able to open a special family gift from Santa and that kid will get “good fortune” for the new year. The middle Green boy exclaimed, “I will find it first, then I will go out and buy the lotto-ry and win millions!” I like his go get’em attitude – most of the time. And, great minds think alike. I was actually considering Lottery tickets as the special gift. One for each family member.

Put some simple and fun traditions into the Holiday mix! 

merry xmas picture

Photography by Stacey Pryce of Cute E’s Photography. 2013. Lynnhaven Fishing Pier, Chesapeake Bay.