On the way to you

parker pretends

This post might be for you but it might be for me. I heard a quote recently that said something to the effect of "our kids are better versions of ourselves." I may or may not have heard this quote on an episode of Real Housewives of some city so it's best that I don't recall the actual source. If you haven't rapidly clicked away, I'll head toward my point. In each of my kids I see little pieces of myself but I also see bits of them I wish I could put in my pocket and not just because I think they are adorable. I see singing in front a crowd and wearing your favorite shoes even though they clash horrifically with your pants and dancing through the frozen food section. I see all kinds Continue Reading

12 Books You Must Read

12 books you must read this year

I always read a ton over Christmas break. I'm not sure if it's because we have extra free time or if my unrealistic Goodreads goal is to blame. A few weeks ago I was three books short of my goal for the year. Five quick reads and 20 put off tasks later, I'm well on my way to creating an unrealistic goal for 2015. If you're looking for a few great reads to add to your list for 2015, here are my favorites. And if you want to see my book suggestions from last year you can find them here. (The list below contains affiliate links.) **Click on the books for links to purchase if you are like me and need to go straight to Amazon and buy all the books as soon as they are Continue Reading

Snowflake love

elf on the shelf delivering a snowflake

My kids are all unique. All parents think that right? I would run out of fingers if I started counting off all of the ways I think they are special and all of the qualities I hope they love about themselves. For the most part, my kids seem to be going with my "love yourself for who you are" plan but lately I have one teetering on the edge of not following my program anymore. When I tell McKenna to put on her winter coat I see her glance to the side to make sure she's not the only one bundling up and I've followed her eyes to the sparkle of another little girls sequined boots and then tried to talk her out of getting the same pair five minutes later. I know this is only the beginning. I Continue Reading

All the sparkly things

MELROSE_EAR_FW14

I love jewelry. LOVE IT. Like on those long car rides when everyone in the car starts asking random questions and someone asks what you would buy if you had a million dollars and starts talking about cars and houses, I'm the one who describes a ring that makes it hard to lift my ring finger. My fellow car-riders are usually surprised because I'm not one for flamboyant anything but I would take a ring that could double as a paperweight any day. So this year, when I had a chance to dream-shop through the pages of the Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski catalog, I had no problem making up a wish list. I didn't realize it until they contacted me and offered to send me jewelry (Jewelry? Yes, Continue Reading

What no one tells you about homeschooling

what no one tells you about homeschooling

I've been homeschooling my three youngest since September. I have always homeschooled McKenna but this is the first year we've been fully immersed in the homeschooling world. I've been surprised at the reality of what homeschooling is really like day in and day out. I knew it would be about lesson plans and A LOT of time with my children but there is so much I've learned that has surprised me. 1. Going from parent to teacher is hard. It didn't take homeschooling to make me realize that my kids listen to others better than they do to me but it has taken a few months for my kids to understand I mean business when it comes to school work. If I let my guard down they're rolling on the Continue Reading

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Parker at 5 days old, the closest we could get to holding him.

I wish I could say I love holidays as much as I am supposed to. Hanging six stockings instead of seven and filling one less Easter basket is enough to make me want to pull the covers over my head and wake up once the fridge is full of leftovers.  But I have a wonderful husband and four living children who would not dare let me stay in bed while their eyes are open, so I have learned to shape our holidays into what I can handle.  I don't have it in me to manage the craziness of big parties and the hustle and bustle of all the holiday happenings that were our life before. But Thanksgiving I can do.  Actually I think I'm pretty good at it. If there is one thing losing a child has taught Continue Reading

Holiday Clothing Drive 2014

holiday clothing drive

**Updated with current needs, if you can fill any of these please scroll down and fill out the form.** In need of: Girls' sizes 3T 3T 5/6 7/8 10 10/12 15 Boys' sizes 9 mos 4T 6-7 Shirt 10/12, pants 12, shoes 2 12 Men's medium shirt and 32/30 pants   For the last two years I have hosted a Holiday Clothing Drive and it's time to get things started again! Together, we've clothed over 100 kids for the holidays and I hope we can double that number this year. Are you in need of holiday clothes for your children? Holiday clothes can be the last thing we splurge on and so often there is just not enough money to buy everything. If a donation of clothing would Continue Reading

Bragging rights

preemie then and now

I don't have a photographic memory but I can tell you exactly what I was doing on November 1st, from 2008 to probably 2012. My head was tilted to the side, probably leaning on some doorway, either in reflection or in search of a two second nap and I was watching my kids, in a moment when they were calm, and marveling at how far they'd come. I was probably even saying to myself "look how far they've come" then turning to NICU pictures, reminding us all about bilirubin lights and suck-swallow-breath prayers. Still very anchored to their beginning, I knew the moment Prematurity Awareness Month started, I probably woke up at midnight to pin a purple ribbon somewhere and visit the March of Dimes Continue Reading

The truth about writing about the truth

deciding what to share when writing

I just finished the book Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" by Lena Dunham which was mildly exciting because there's raging controversy about the book right now and I usually don't hear about controversy until Cliff Notes are available. This time I was actually reading the book that was the center of trending tweets and Facebook posts. I was practically pulling off the slouchy hat and huge glasses look while ordering a double espresso, immersed in the thick of entertainment news analysis with my trendy hat wearing friends. To retain my level of mildly cool and almost-informed, I had to stop myself from raising my hand, shouting "Pick me! Pick me!" whenever Continue Reading

Breaking news from last month

dressing up a new puppy

We lost our little Ruby at the end of the summer. I'm late with the news but she was attacked by dogs and McKenna saw it happen and I can't think about it for long before I hear the screams echoing all over again. Mark and I always joked that she was a therapy pig but it wasn't really a joke. When McKenna couldn't process emotions she went to Ruby, pulling her to her lap or climbing into the space where she slept. She talked to her and pet her until she was calm again. Animals seem to offer McKenna an escape from her anxiety that we cannot. Luckily, we had been talking about getting a dog long before Ruby's accident. We had visited a few pet adoption fairs and researched what kind of Continue Reading