Friday, May 22, 2015


A Marathon

26.2 miles. 4 hours. Hours spent training. Hours spent alone with nothing else but your thoughts and the open road. Hours spent trying to work it out. Hours spent weaving in and out of energy and exhaustion, endorphins and anger.

A Marathon

A test of the mind. A trial of the body. A chance of mother nature and the fate of the day. Strong bodied, stronger willed. Strongest hearted.

It’s not meant for everyone. It’s not meant for the average. It’s meant for the special ones…the ones who set the bar and push it; the ones who are just crazy enough to step up and commit. The ones who believe in themselves.

And just like life, it is the steady who win. It is the calm who prevail. It is the relaxed shouldered and the long-term goal setters who know when they cross the finish line; they have won.

A Marathon

One stride, one foot, one mind. And the point will come when your mind goes to the dark place.

“Why did I do this?”

“What am I trying to prove?”

“Why am I here at this moment?”

“What do I have to learn?”

“What will I do when it’s over?”

“Don’t forget to breathe.”

“Just. Keep. Moving. Forward.”

A Marathon

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Tiny Movement and Using Space Wisely

If you follow the tiny movement, you know there is a new obsession with living small so you can LIVE big. I support this message. But after one night in a TINY hotel room with my Grandma and my child, it was decided. I could never live THAT small.

Here are 4 ways we have used our small spaces. (And by the way, I don't stage photos and I don't use a fancy wide angle lens camera. Real life is messy.)

Dog Beds under our custom sunroom/office desk. They are clearly used by Myles, the white seal.
Organization in a small house is key. (This is coming from a creative minded person). Here are four small bins labeled: soaps, dental care, lotions, shampoos. I can't believe I own a label maker. Who am I?
And here are built-ins in the bathroom with baskets for each of us. 

I love white bedding. It makes a small room look elegant and bigger. Next up-floor to ceiling curtains...another way to create the illusion of a bigger window.  
Our fixer upper is just the right size for our family of 3. Yes, I do occasionally walk thru a friend's mansion and think it would be nice to be able to do a round-off back handspring back tuck in my living room. And then I remember. Bigger means more stuff and I can't actually do a back tuck or a back handspring. So we're good with small.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Read Me Your Favorite Line

Sitting poolside as you and your Grandma separated by 60 years talk about nothing. 
Enjoying the simplicity of a blackberry melting on a dehydrated tongue as the sun pours into pale winter skin. 
Walking around a tiny charming lake town in central Florida and stumbling on a halfway decent band and a packed patio. 
Seeing a red-winged hawk in flight. 
Heck, seeing any bird in flight. 
Opening an envelope and finding a transcript of an interview between my 16-year-old self and my grandpa in the sky.
Reading it.
You looking up at me with big half brown half hazel eyes and saying "I'm so happy. This makes me so happy."
The way you look positioned next to one of the smartest men the world will know.
And then curled up beside the most tender teacher heart for just one more story. 
We’ll never get it back. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

DIY Photo Canvas Collage

I currently have 1,536 photos on my iphone. 1,535 of those are of Jack. 

  • 9 8x10 canvases ($8.99 for a 10-pack with 40% off coupon at Michaels). 
  • Hot glue gun
  • 9 of your favorite 8x10 photos (if you have a home printer, even better).

Total project was just shy of $20. Total time: 20 minutes. 

Tip: Try painting edges of canvas for a more finished look.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

How to Throw a Kid Camping Party Without Breaking The Bank

I love throwing a good DIY party on a budget.

Theme: Camping

Food: DIY (with a little help from a local cupcake shop)
In order of guest popularity:
  • S'mores on a stick-chocolate covered marshmallows dipped in crushed up graham crackers 
    • Put marshmallows on stick, dip in melted chocolate (candy melt brand), let excess chocolate drip off, dip in crushed up graham crackers, place on plate.
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Star shaped PB&J sandwiches 
  • Trail mix bowls
  • Flying cupcakes-3 flavors
  • "Bug Juice"-watered down lime green sports drink
  • Pretzel sticks, goldfish 
  • Shrimp tray
  • Carrots and celery with dip
  • Caramel dipped apple bites
  • BBQ cocktail weenies
  • Dirt pudding with gummy worms at the bottom (Jack loved to help put the gummy worms in the jars)

Time: 2:30p-4:30p on a sunny Saturday afternoon

Craft: Parsley and basil potted plats with paint to decorate the pots
Wood necklaces to decorate with paint and markers

Favors: S'more bags to go.

Decorations: Hand me down moss, pine cones, lantern(purchased on Target clearance), tree platters, birch tree straws, handmade place cards (card stock paper). Jack's favorite color is green. Can you tell?

Here are the pictures to tell the rest of the story:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

No Mushy Gushy Here


I'm going to resist the urge to talk about all that mushy gushy mom stuff...

Like how the last 3 years have been the fastest 3 years of my life.

Like how I carry it with me through the whole day when you wake me up at 6:45 with a kiss on the face and a sweet "good morning, mommy."

Like how I caught a glimpse of you flexing your muscles last Tuesday and my heart melted into a million pieces.

Like how you use phrases like "Give me a little privacy" while pooping or "Leave me alone, I'm not playing right now," when you need a minute to yourself.

Like how when you ask me to play with you it's a magnetic reaction to drop what I'm doing and PLAY WITH YOU.

Like how I swear you make the world a little sweeter, you make people a little softer, you make people smile in the midst of what appears to be a stressful day.

Like how you recently jumped into your Grandparents pool without swim wings on and instead of being afraid when you went under the water you came up and said, "That was amazing."

Like how the collection of people around you called family light up the minute they are in your presence.

Like how it's just better with you. It's just better with you, my sweet amazing incredible Jack. It's better.

I'm going to resist the urge to get mushy gushy...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I See You

Mom, I see you walking into work 15 minutes late. What color is your coat? Is it white or black? I can't tell because it's covered in dog hair because you lost your lint roller since it has recently become a favorite toy for your toddler. The options were freeze or dog hair and dog hair won. I know your kid cried harder than normal when you dropped him off this morning. I see the mascara lines in the corners of your eyes.

Dad, I see you leave 10 minutes early looking over your shoulder because you're torn. Should you stay and finish that project or should you beat the traffic and arrive early to your daughter's first recital? You choose the recital. I see you.

Mom, I see you close your eyes and inhale some vitamin D since you have a vitamin D deficiency due to the fact the sun hasn't come out in two solid months. I hear your child crying because they fell off the slide face first into pea gravel. You don't react for 10 solid seconds because nothing can ruin this moment of zen. I see you.

Dad, I see you racing through the aisles at Target screaming "No" or "Don't touch that" or "slow down". I see your blood pressure rise as you pull up with two boys in a shopping cart and vow to NEVER EVER EVER take a trip to Target again. By the time you finally pay, you are fuming and exhausted and defeated, but you still manage to tickle your 4-year-old. His giggle still make you giggle.

Mom, I know. I know you didn't sleep last night. I know you fell asleep next to your 15-month-old while watching Daniel Tiger on repeat because even if it is television, at least it has a good message. The world needs more good messages. And that manual about no television before got burned with the stack of "What to Expect When You're Expecting." I see you.

Dad, I see you trade your beloved 1955 Ford collector car for the mini van. I know it's like you exchanged your man card for the keys. You just turned in your former self. You look a little deflated, but when your daughter runs up and hugs you and says she loves it, you get yourself back. She holds your heart in her hands.

Mom, I see you look longingly at that couple drinking margaritas outside on a sunny day. You long to be them for just that checking the watch and calculating the babysitter total in addition to the date night check. No checking your cell phone obsessively just in case the babysitter accidentally burned the house down because she forgot to remove the cardboard from the frozen pizza.

Dad, I know. I know your spouse and your children are your priority. I see your extra hours put at the office because you're stressed about making the mortgage and still working in a promised trip to Disney. I see the pressure you put on yourself daily to provide for your family and still spend time with them.

Mom, I know. I know you are constantly questioning, am I enough? Am I making the right choice? Am I teaching enough? Am I setting a good example? Is my house clean enough or my car clean enough? Am I working too hard or helicopter parenting or feeding my child the wrong foods? Am I enough?

I hear you.

I see you.

I am you.