Honored and honored…

What does it mean to receive the honor of Capital District YMCA President’s Award?

Honestly, it means we are a part of something bigger.  We are a big part of our YMCA.  We are a part of something that brings families closer, builds community and supports members and beyond.  Our Y is a huge part of our life.  We aren’t just worker outers… but our Y fills so many needs in our family.  At a time when I had no one to babysit my girls- the Y childcare took amazing care of our girls.  The gift being a bit of peace and quiet, and the ability to get healthier and stronger.  Through the years our Y has given us a place to bring our children to build their confidence in gymnastics, little sports and swimming.  They learned skills beyond those taught… skills like friendship, confidence and community.  Our girls have spent their preschool years in the YMCA programs.  We have become a part of the family there.  They have learned and grown… loved and bonded with kids and their teachers.  We have been so blessed in that program of preschool… next year will feel so different.  Not only has the Y helped us take care of our girls, but it has helped each of us, separately, take care of ourselves.  Matt ran and placed in the Brenda Deer 5K Race.  I, myself, took up running because it was a challenge to try to run a 5k.  I have since run a couple 1/2 marathons, 18.12 race and a marathon.  I have loved tackling and building myself up in every Boot Camp session that I finished.  I have created and enjoyed so many friendships and acquaintances at our Y.  Those amazing people carried our family when our Madeline passed away.

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Our Y has helped our family survive.  More than most can imagine.  It has been a safe place, a retreat and a community that carries.  We were blessed to be honored with the 2014 Presidents Award.

They thank us.  They tell us we have helped so much.  What those amazing people don’t understand is that we are so thankful and blessed because of them.  We get to go to our safe place, our retreat, our community and see lovely and simple kids running around on a playground dedicated and created to honor our Madeline’s legacy.  We get to sit on a bench in a perfect little garden that was made by our herd and filled with painted rocks from her friends and ‘be with her’… We get to sit on a rock, under a soon-to-be shady tree that we were able to put in for another YMCA angel and reflect.  We are blessed.  We are thankful.  We are the ones who are honored.  What an awesome and generous way to thank us.

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This award, is not only a beautiful and earthy trophy, but a sincere and special gift to our family.  It is proudly displayed and proudly shared.  The award ceremony night- the whole thing, the whole process will stay in my brain and memory and remind me of my lovely and her ‘mark’.  Amelia and Lucy shined that night.  They were in their glory.  I loved it.  They had their grandparents, both sets, their parents, even in the junk and their Y there.  They walked on that stage with a purpose and a bold confidence.  It was awesome and amazing.  They love their Y family.  They love ‘Maddie’s Place’.  They love the community, our ‘herd’ and their carriers.  They loved this award.

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We are soooooo unbelievably thankful.  We are so blessed.  We are always carried.  God is good to us.  Life is hard, stuff can suck.  Situations can bring amazing or bad… but I tell you, life is freaking good.  In all of this crazy, in all of this hard… we are blessed.  Thank you to our YMCA family.

❤ The Mustos

2014 Capital District YMCA President’s Award Honorees.

Call the Midwife… (not the way you think.)

This weekend was a dark and chilly one… laced with good things.  A Friday night out with a friend, a quietish Saturday, an event Saturday night and a visit from some special itty bitty Miracles.  The last time I saw those little twins they were 1/2 the size they were this weekend.  They are already rearing in on the 10 pound mark… time flies and babies change… tis life.  I sent the girls off on a hike with Matthew and then Jenn and Cortney and the twins headed back to Oswego.  I sat and read and listened to music for a long time.  I thought maybe I would head out for dinner or something, but no one is really free since it is Sunday- Family day.  I sat down to watch TV and flip through the internet… read and make myself stay in the quiet and alone.

I sat down and turned on the TV… Long story, short :)… and PBS had ‘Call the Midwife’ on.  I was surprised it was on so early, and kept it on.  I like this show.  It is British and takes place in older more simple times… and it deals with childbirth, something that intrigues me.  Once again I got a little reminder that there are signs and moments always to remind me… This particular episode the nurse was called away very immediately from a birth to see to her boyfriend.  He had quickly taken a turn for the worse and by the time she got there had passed away.  She was angry and stressed when she talked to the Nun about returning to work.  Jenny (nurse) was mad and clear that she didn’t understand how God fit into any of this.  The Nun said to her:

“God isn’t in the event, Jenny.  He is in the response to the event.  In the love that is shown and the care that is given.”

It is so true.  Exactly my thought.  God is here, we are people.  People have choices, bodies break down, people get hurt… accidents happen… those are all parts of life and death.  God is here for the before, during and after.  He is in the support, in the peace, in the moments, in the blessings, in the bold changes, in the legacy and in it all…

So in a cold and dreary weekend filled with bits of good… there was something a little more bold and profound.  There were miracles and smiles from those babies… and moments to remind me… all and all if I make it to tomorrow morning with out being lonely tonight then it will be a pretty much great weekend.  ❤

Another ‘done’…


Small and Insignificant.  A box of Pedialyte Powder Packs.  All Done.

I remember buying this box of Pedialyte when Madeline had one of her ‘sick in the middle of the night episodes’.  She was fine all day, but I wanted to make sure she wasn’t dehydrated.  I decided to buy this box of packets so I didn’t have to waste a half a bottle every time she or one of the girls needed it.  I remember thinking it was pretty darn expensive, then heading home and making Madeline a water bottle with a packet in it.  I told her to drink slow, don’t guzzle.  Do not drink too much at once, we don’t want to make your stomach upset again.  I think we used two packets back in those weeks.  One morning being the day Matthew left for California for work.  I thought, for sure, it was a bit of anxiety that day, missing Matthew.  It was good though, we stayed home and worked on crafts.  Madeline and the girls worked hard to make streamers, decorations, clay sculptures and snacks for a big SURPRISE welcome home party for Matthew.  So it was a welcome day off…

Fast forward to today.  The girls stayed at Matthew’s last night.  I awoke to a call that Amelia got sick last night all over his bed.  That she had showered and was curled up.  I went over and picked her up, made arrangements for Lucy and came home to watch Kelly and Michael and snuggle.  I went to the cabinet to make Amelia a Pedialyte bottle, just out of stomach bug habit.  The box was empty.  It was still in the cabinet but it was empty.  She had to settle for a juice box- to which I told her drink slow- don’t guzzle.

It was a mini BAM moment.  Just a moment of recollection that another thing is done from that time… who knows maybe the packets were out of date anyway, who cares.  It made me sad to think that there are few things left to have/find/experience that Madeline did.  All of the fingerprints from her are gone from my windows, her lost hairs and messes have long since been vacuumed and cleaned… her artwork has all been seen and shared if we wanted to.  It is weird to think about those things.  The girls will continue to make messes, make jokes, tell riddles, sing songs… create projects, complain about dinner, run and learn and live and breathe… and it isn’t the case for all of my Musto Chicks.  Often I am ok and pretty even.  I don’t sit and think of all I have lost, all that I miss.  I tend to focus on how Madeline is still here and how I know she is okay.  Today I just felt sad that there will be few more of these types of finds in the future.  Someday everything she touched will have been shown to me, maybe most of it already has… now I must focus on how the Madeline that is here now touches and changes people… her fingerprints and heartbeats impacting and showing ‘her’ in a different way.  Most of the time that is enough for me now…

I think I will keep that box.  I will be glad the next time Lucy gives me a breath of her morning breath that smells just.like.madeline’s… I will smile when a picture or pose in Amelia looks just like Madeline… I will laugh when I hear her giggle in Lucy… I will cry when I feel the loss and the sad and the hard…


always amazed…


Tomorrow is a big day…after a holy week of preparation and reflecting we are going to bed tonight to wake up on Resurrection day.  I think about and told the girls about how on Friday it was the day the Jesus died.  I told them how painful his death was and how they were trying to punish him for being Jesus… how God had a big plan.  When Jesus died and came back to life heaven was opened.  Madeline is in heaven because Jesus died, a really painful and public death.  I am thankful for Jesus’s struggle and ability to trust his Dad.  What would our world be like if He never came… He never died… He never rose?

Death looks different to me now.  I used to not really think about heaven and how blessed we are that our lovelies and family are there.  I used to not think about the pain that Jesus went through, the way that must have felt to see your son in pain… life and death are so different now.

This year is the first year that Madeline and Matthew are gone… and it is weird to think what it will look like.  Matt asked if he could come for coffee and eggs and stuff… my sister is here for the weekend.  We are going to mass and maybe breakfast… I think we will go to Maddie’s Spot for a walk… and send the girls to dinner with Matthew and his family.  I don’t know.  I guess we will play it by ear.  I remember a time when I was a part of Matthew’s family and I am sure  it will come again, but it can’t really work right now.  I remember a time when it didn’t feel like the world was lacking so much… someday it might feel better.  I remember a time when I prepped three girls and made plans and dressed them up the same and visited my nana… and enjoyed spring with our ‘we’.  I guess a bit of gift in that is that back then I didn’t understand the sacrifice and the importance of it… the great gift of Jesus’s death and rising… the importance of heaven.  Always a gift in the hard…

❤ happy easter my darling.  Miss you always…

Good Day. Good thing.

Today was a good day.

I like when I can start a post like that.  Today was a good day.  I had my doubts… but the day proved my doubts wrong.  Matt dropped the girls off and Lucy was rather ornery, which usually leads to a bad day.  Judging by my wicked headache and crazy crusty allergy eyes- I think her cranky was due to the pollen.  Whatever it was, she got kinder and more chipper as the morning went on.  We curled up and watched Kelly and Michael, then headed to the YMCA for a mini-workout and some daycare.  I felt better after 20 minutes on the elliptical.  The sun was out and it felt great when we left the Y, so we headed to Subway and up to Maddie’s Spot for our first picnic of this year.  gkb69iklhgfugjhlmm2014-04-17_12.47.29

It was chilly but we snuggled up and enjoyed lunch and wind chimes and birds.  I felt the sun at Maddie’s Spot and the quiet peace that is up there.  It felt really good.  I have missed that.  I feel like it has been ages since we have sat up there and just been there.  We bundled up and headed out for a ‘hike’ around the cemetery and Lucy collected rocks and found bugs… we read old stones, talked about my runs through the cemetery and complained about walking up hills.  It was sunny and cool and just really nice out.  When we headed out Lucy emptied her pockets into my seat and we brought home a bunch of Prospect Hill to paint and decorate.

2014-04-17_13.14.13 Then coming home to clean up and decorate for Easter… the girls played for a long time in their room and I got some things done.  It was really good.  Grocery shopping and actually making dinner… it was a good day.  I am glad we had a good day.

After a week plus of people in and out… appointments and conversations… thinking and travelling… we had a normal-ish Musto kind of day.  It felt good to be in Maddie’s Spot with my girls… I even kind of looked forward to what it will all look like in the future.  I got to walkin’ and thinkin’ that it will be ok and good… and make sense to us soon.  I was feeling easy in this life, maybe that it is a bit of normal.  Maybe I will wake up soon and feel like I am in the spot I am supposed to be, the normal of that moment.

❤ love you darling… keep me chuggin’, keep me up and alive.



… a bit of happy…

I got up this morning to a quiet house, sat down with my coffee and watched Good Morning America.  Catching up on all the big headlines and then a viral video from yesterday that Taylor Swift posted… and I couldn’t not share this :).  Taylor Swift was invited to a fans wedding, and couldn’t go.  She decided to pop in to her shower and surprise her.  I think it is so cute and happy… a must see.  It has been a while since I posted a quick bit of happy… so enjoy.  I love Taylor Swift, I love surprises and I love when people take time from their life (famous or not) to show someone they are special and important.

❤ Taylor… kind, smart, happy and lovely.


Running for her…

It’s strange… here I am surrounded and alone.  In the city that never sleeps and is always alive.  I walked out of the train station to the sun and this amazing spring day in NYC… and it’s been awesome.  The race expo for the MORE Magazine women’s half was so great- filled with products, women, happy, bright, excited and healthy.  It was great.  We headed out for lunch and a walk.

I love NYC, I love the energy and feelings and the people.  I love that you can walk all.day.long and see the coolest strollers, the funkiest most well behaved dogs, fancy people, strange people, crazy cab drivers and a million other things.  There are creepy guys trying to sell illegal purses, carts of food that smell amazing and stories everywhere… it’s one of my favorite places to lose myself.  I especially love just wandering and not having places to be.  I am excited and nervous about the race.  I wish I had an inspired playlist but hope that people pick inspirations for my miles… and I can get through it all.

My BAM turning point came at lunch… we ate at this cool hip place, awesome food and interesting drinks… I  got to meet some of my friend’s friends that came to run or just visit.  It was nice.  Sitting at this table surrounded by people and talk and chatter and music and horns… and the inevitable question came.  “How many kids do you have?”  I instinctively answered 3 girls, Madeline, Amelia and Lucy.  No more… then felt the guilt of the answer.  I thought, is she going to find out in the conversation that our mutual friend is on the board of the foundation for Madeline, or will it come up… or will she find out later and think “I feel so bad for not knowing and asking.”  Generally that question isn’t a BAM for me anymore.  It just hit me today.  I guess this week I heavily feel this loss… It hit me hard to have to kind of add after she asked the ages… and I don’t know update her.  It definitely felt like a heavy moment for me and has made me kind of tired for the afternoon.  The conversation also went to marriage and how so many people just quit when they cant find the solution.  At a table filled with women, two of whom I just met, my entire list of hard stuff was exposed or talked about.  I often feel like a failure in my marriage.  I don’t know if it could have ever lasted but it feels like we just quit.  I hate quitting.  I hate feeling that this is all going into different directions… I know it will, I am mentally preparing for it… but it doesn’t make me like it or feel easy about it.

I know it will all look different soon, what is soon?  I don’t know.  I just cant wait until this all doesn’t hurt so much.  I usually have my shit pulled together more… I feel loopy and messy lately… I usually have that question answered and my brain is good with how I answered it… I usually don’t sit at a table and hear people talk about marriage and making it work… I hope tomorrow I sit at a table and talk victory…

I hope tomorrow I am proud of me… I will finish… I will.  I will run this race and think of all the ones who can not do it.  I wonder how many half or whole marathons Madeline would run, or would she be on the swim team… would she want to do 4h and leadership clubs… or would she be a cheerleader… who knows.  I will run, love, breathe, find, cry, sing, play and live for her…

Stop the thinking/talking/analyzing/rehashing…

Sometimes I am so involved and analytical of a situation that it eats me up.  It feels like that right now.  I am so tired and drained and sick of thinking/talking/thinking/analyzing that I am pooped.  I think I am going to accept some things…

– That it isn’t all Matt.  Some of it is my behaviors that have hurt him.  Some of it is his behaviors that he followed up with or started with.

– That he hasn’t always been selfish… or if I didn’t think or rehash some of this maybe I wouldn’t see all of it… and need to always feel it.  It is hard when there are a lot of people- retelling, sharing, talking… it becomes the life.  Matt has had times that he has been understanding and positive.  I need to sometimes rehash those for people too…

– I need to stop, sit, journal, think and process more… as opposed to thinking out loud.  Sometimes I need to make those choices and sit in them and think about them… not react, act, talk… anything really.  There are actions in my reactions that create a communication barrier.  It is the truth that my loud and confrontational can put up the big barrier instantaneously in Matt- thereby negating a safe place for him to talk, share, etc.  I need to slow down and not react… unless the react is love.  That is true for all of my relationships.  I get drawn into the instant gratification of life today.  I get scared, sad, mad, etc and I call the person and expect pretty much an immediate fix.  I think my future would be more positive and safe if I waited it out and thought or let it cool down.

– I need to SLOW DOWN.  When I am angry I need to sit and think out my angry… not just pounce and vent.  Sometimes venting is very necessary, other times it is better to just figure it out and not BAM it all out and create a partner to go with you into the mess.  I need to take that mad and kind of categorize it and know what I am angry at and what is an add-on.  Some things we need to let go, others we can share the anger about.

– I need to stay safe.  I need to create an environment for Matt to be safe.  To not feel like I am going to yell at him if he takes the girls to do something wicked amazing and cool… I need to be ok and happy about that.  He needs to create those memories and I need to accept that my girls will have a life with me and a life without… far before I was ready for it.  If we are working through mediation then it is important to maintain safe.  I have promised, in my brain, to not retort in mad if Matthew has a valid need or point.  I have also promised to work on my conflict management skill, if you want to call them that, and not reply with a BAM loud or defense so fast.  Matt will put up a wall and we will get no where.

– I need to work on loving me more.  I need to be more lifting to me.  I need to change the direction of my builders… I have become the lady I hate “I like my skin, but it has pimples”… or “I love to run, but I am not fast”… honestly Erin.  Get your shit together and love the crazy version of you that you are right now.  I am not kind enough to myself.  I will work on that.  You can hold me accountable.  I will check my brain and words when I talk about me, think about me or look at myself… and take away the ‘but’.  I don’t know why I walk around this world wondering “why didn’t he like me?”… It isn’t me.  Remind me of that often.  VERY OFTEN.  There is a part of me that loves me… and a part that doesn’t let me see the other part.  Just like I believe Matt has a part of him that loves me and a part that is sooooo mad at me… I am encouraging him to find the side that likes me.. so we can come out of this on the other side.

– Stop going into the mode of Erin that thinks it all through and analyses and blogs and talks… Just go on with your day and let yourself stop thinking about it.  Let it go.  You get so deep sometimes I think the person you are analyzing needs a therapist to sort it out, understand it and claim it.  I need to let it go…sit in it, don’t think about it… train your brain to redirect to something that is changeable, fixable, positive.  In the end it will be better.


Work hard Erin… for your best.life.ever… whatever that looks like.