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Why You Should Read This

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you as you are to them." (Desmond Tutu)

Who are you getting to know through this blog? Why should you keep reading? Each of our stories is precious and sacred and one that unfolds before the world. I guess I believe that about my own. That's one of the reasons I decided to write a blog. Our stories are the ways we share our hopes and dreams, heartaches and successes, joys and sorrows, all that makes us these wonderfully complex and beautiful humans.

Stories connect our hearts in ways that are spoken and truly more than spoken.

Here is a small glimpse of the current story-line of our little family...

I am a wife to Allen Goetz and we have been married for over 26 years and we currently live in a sleepy little town in the middle of New Jersey. Trust me. You've never heard of it. We have two famous things in our town: the Stirling Hotel (#1 voted bar/restaurant by the readers of the Star Ledger, our newspaper, and where my daughter is a hostess...shameless plug) and Leo the MGM lion's burial site, although no one is quite sure exactly where the body is laid to rest. We also have three not-so-famous things here as well: St. Joseph's Shrine ("a sacred place for all"), the Great Swamp ("the middle of nowhere in the middle of New Jersey"), and the Raptor Trust ("how one man's passionate concern for raptors grew into a nationally recognized rehabilitation center"). Makes you want to vacation here, don't you think?

Back to family... Allen is kind and gracious. I am sarcastic and I like to say, discerning (but others may call me a bit judgmental). Allen is a hard-worker, quiet and reserved. I am quick-witted and loud. He is methodical and analytical. I am passionate and decisive. Allen is a supporter and a peacemaker. I am a leader and aggressive. As you can see, we are a match made in heaven.

I am a mom to four very unique kids and one new son-in-law.

Sarah is 25 and a second-grade teacher to inner-city, poverty-line children. She is married to Cody and lives in Pennsylvania. Sarah is a hard-working rule-follower, and if we were Catholic, she might have become a nun. She is highly creative and has had a teacher’s heart since she was little. She is deeply caring and a great writer. She is my editor when it comes to these posts. You can read her blog at She is one of my very best friends.

Cody, her husband, is a crazy outdoorsman and an Adventure Education teacher in an alternative high school for kids who have been dismissed from public school. He is super-handy and knows what he wants. He is a man who is willing to grow and learn. We love him. They were married last July and are experiencing all the lovely things that go along with that first year of wedded bliss: yeast and urinary tract infections, birth control side effects, arguments about chores, cooking meals that the other one doesn’t like, and oh, learning to live with and still love this other human being.

Our son Jared just graduated college and is 23. We call him the “edge kid.” He is the center of attention when he walks into a room. He "lights it up" as they say. He is always coming up with big business ideas and is an entrepreneur at heart. He was that wiggly, ADHD kid who loved to push the envelope. When our rule was “no eating in the family room,” he would stand with one foot in the kitchen and one foot in the family room munching away so the crumbs would technically fall into the kitchen. We are not sure if he will be president or in prison one day. Or both. I don’t think one disqualifies the other these days. And my personal vote would be for president! #POTUS2032

Josh, our 21 year old, is a basically a nerd. He wants to be a college professor because his brain goes faster and holds more information than anyone I know. He watches Ted Talks and looks stuff up on the internet and figures out how to do some of the most complicated things (like basically build his own computer). He’s an introvert, but somehow ended up as a psychology major. I think he just wants to figure out the ultimate in a complicated thing…the human being. He is also kind and sensitive. He is smart, but he is also the wisest person I know. He might be a good match for Solomon in heaven, but hopefully won't ever suggest cutting babies in half (see Bible for that story if you are concerned about where this blog is heading).

Our youngest, Rachel, is a musician. She is very smily and has had a sparkle since she was born. She is a true friend, fiercely independent and loves unconditionally. Her middle name is JOY and it’s a true picture of who she is. She is a senior, headed to college to pursue a career in music technology and wants to open her own studio one day. She plays the guitar, the piano, the ukulele and can be found sitting making a puzzle most afternoons in our family room. She says that her heart is filled with five things: God, love of family and friends, music, the beach, and puzzles. I can see her getting a tattoo representing each of these one day.

I couldn’t have asked for better people to share my house with. I am truly grateful. I love the quote by Desmond Tutu, but I will tell you that if I got to choose, I wouldn't choose anyone different.

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