I Do


Fourteen years ago today, on a crisp, clear, post Thanksgiving Saturday I said I Do.

Had I choose not to I would not have-

Those three precious girls asleep in my bed;

The people on that day who became my in law’s but who I now call friends;

The friendships made over years of football games, concerts and summer barbeques;

This house with it’s freshly fallen snow lining my backyard;

This job that each day makes me feel stronger and more connected;

This city.

Today there is joy.

Joyful life,  grateful heart.

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Moments from the Week- Turkey’s on our Head

Look at this face

DSC02297That’s her “I am happy and mad at the same time” face.

It’s hard to get angry at a face that cute and a personality that large.

Three has to be one of the most beautiful and difficult ages. They live their lives with a split personality, turning on a dime. They are stretching and growing; just trying to figure out their own boundaries.

I love watching her stretch herself each day.

I love watching that little face go through 4 emotions in the span of 5 minutes.

And I love when she comes home from school singing a song about turkey’s landing on her head.

Yep that’s right she says she learned a Thanksgiving song on Tuesday and this is what she came home singing-

Weekends with Friends

I am continually reminded of how lucky I am to have these women in my life. Women who drop everything to fly thousands of miles to spend the weekend loving on my girls and I. Women who cook me meals and bring them to me at work. Women who text me everyday just to let me know they are thinking of us.

It was Aunt Jen’s turn to fly in this weekend and she brought the ever adorable baby Emma. My girls were over the moon excited for their visit.

How could you not want to spend every waking moment with a face like this?


Emma and Jekyll bonded. Thankfully Emma is the most laid back, happy baby and could care less about all of the “kisses” from him.


I told Jen about Sidney’s frustrations with learning the violin. The first 6 months of learning any new musical instrument can be extremely slow and annoying. Aunt Jen gave Sidney the pep talk and the tools she needed to get over this hump. I caught her playing last night without me reminding her so I do think it worked!



The girls loved the chance to focus their attention on everything Emma. Again most grateful for how relaxed she is. Can you imagine eating dinner with this in your face each time?


We wrapped up the weekend with a visit to Aunt Lisa. While the grown ups ate the house grew a little too quiet. We caught 4 of the 6 little girls in the house doing this-


Yep playing Go Fish. No protests, no arguments just happy times playing a card game on a Sunday night.

The weekend was good for the soul.


“Weeping may linger for the night but joy comes with the morning” Psalm 30:5


Grateful for mornings.

A text from a friend urging me to get out of bed at 5am and run because she knows the treadmill will heal me.

Coffee in hand, breakfast consumed, ready to take on the day but first the 3 miles that will make me feel strong enough to do it.

In times of trial blessings take unexpected forms. Today it takes the form of a text message on a morning when I especially felt the need to bury my head under the covers and forget that it was another day.

Joy initiated by a note from a friend willing me to just run.

Moments from the Week


Words that moved me this week:

Good Timber

by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

Songs that moved me:

 My dear friend Robin found this one and sent it my way.

Tomorrow Will Be Kinder by The Secret Sisters

Dinosaurs Divorce

I’m new at this whole divorce thing. So I often turn to the internet to help me find resources to guide my children. The internet can be a great thing but in this instance it was my first mistake.

I found the book Dinosaurs Divorce a few weeks ago and ordered it after reading numerous recommendations from blogs and fantastic online reviews. Amazon in their oh so speedy way had it at my door within four days.


Now let me preface this by saying I am sure that Dinosaurs Divorce is an excellent resource for families going through a divorce it was just not the kind of resource that this family was in need of. But, because my girls are amazing little creatures they were able to find joy and laughter in a moment that could have turned horribly bad.

Mistake #2 Momma should ALWAYS preread books on divorce before sharing with her girls.

It started with this line “Parents divorce when they don’t love each other or can’t get along together anymore”.

Oh poop. The questions began.

“But Momma you and Daddy love each other and you get along.”

Then we hit this: “When parents can’t agree lawyers and judges decide. Try to be honest if they ask you questions; it will help make better decisions”.

“What do they mean judges Momma and asking me questions? You and Daddy have already decided where we will live”.

It was probably around page 9 that my girls decided this book didn’t apply to them. They knew it in their hearts. It wasn’t our families road map for divorce. But, they wanted to keep reading because now the whole concept of Dinosaurs Divorce was hilarious.

The silly questions and comments commenced.

Sidney- “So I’m thinking that Audrey and Ellie go live with Daddy and I stay here. They can come over to play and stuff but then I wouldn’t have to put up with them all the time. Deal Momma?”

Audrey- The book says that sometimes one of the parents may act like Santa Claus. Can Santa Claus just come live with us instead?”

Ellie- “Momma I get two parties!!! Kate and Taylor can come over for a tea party twice!” (The book may or may not have suggested that sometimes divorced parents cannot get along and holidays and birthday parties will be celebrated twice as much).

What happened next I should probably label Mistake #3 but I don’t know that I truly believe it as such. I should have put down the book, but we kept reading when the section called “Meeting Parents New Friends” appeared at the top of the page.

I groaned uncomfortably.

The girls giggled uncontrollably.

A picture of a dinosaur dad introducing his dinosaur kids to his new “friend” appeared on the page. Let’s just say that the new friend appeared to be rather well endowed and had a nice j’lo esq booty. The girls picked up on it immediately and began with the “big butt” comments.

The next pages talked about parents remarrying and living with step parents. The same image emerged of the big butted step mom with the following statement “Pick a name for your step parent that you find easy to use and your step parent is comfortable with”.

And it was there that Step Mom Big Butt was born. My girls lost it. Parading around the room butt pushed out as far as they could shouting “Step Mom Big Butt come help me with my homework”; “Step Mom Big Butt you have a great butt”.

All so totally inappropriate but at the same time a completely appropriate response. My girls found joy in the moment, in their own way.

Their giggles filled the house and then it filled the phone line as they called their daddy to let him know what they discovered by reading this book- Step Moms are more well endowed packages then real Momma.

Finally, Mistake #4. Maybe I should not have recorded the following-


Before she sleeps each night she asks me for two songs, always in the same order.

Baby Mine first Momma”.

“Now Amazing Grace Momma”.

Why those songs? Of all the lullabies why does she choose a song from Dumbo and one of the most recognizable hymns on the planet to ring in her ears each night?

She’s old enough now that when the first strands of Amazing Grace leave my lips she joins me in the tune. Some nights her big sisters wander in and together, knees bent, hands on her belly we all sing.

I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see.

Many a night the ritual has been rushed. A quick verse of each song, a peck on the cheek and the sign of the cross on her forehead before I slip out her door.

Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.

It is on those nights that I have rushed through a verse of each song that I often find myself sneaking back in long after she has gone to sleep to touch her hair or brush my hand across her cheek.

I wonder if she knows I did not mean to rush her. That I understand she needs my grace each night before she closes her eyes.

And I wonder if she knows that I need her grace too.

How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.

Friday Visitors and Moments From the Week

Today Aunt Ra Ra comes (Rachel is one of my very dear friends from college who Sid nicknamed Ra Ra when she was learning how to talk)

She is bringing her son Maddox who has the best smile on the planet.

My girls have been waiting for this all week.

Audrey plans to play Power Rangers with Maddox until they fall over.

Sidney is taking her Aunt to see one of her riding lessons.

Ellie believes she is sleeping in the same bed as Maddox (I haven’t had the heart to tell her no yet).

The visit will be good for our hearts.

Something’s that moved me this week:

What I saw:


When you work at a Children’s Hospital you sometimes become numb to the parade of celebrity guests that come through your door. Not that they are not 100% appreciated but it becomes more common place. This week, the site of these guys hit me hard. Almost the entire Bluejackets team showed up to hand out gifts and work on crafts with our kiddos. Do you know how long a hockey season is and how often these guys are on the road away from their families? They all came open arms and smiles with wagons full of toys. Not only are our children very sick, over 50% of them come from low-income families. The majority of these kids have never even seen an American Girl catalogue let alone own one of those precious dolls. Those big, tough guys handed them out.  A reminder how lucky I am to work where I do.

ellie pumpkin

Ellie girl carved her first pumpkin (technically mama carved it and has the scars to prove it). She was so proud. I can’t tell you how much I didn’t want to carve three pumpkins. I hate the whole process of it- the cutting, the gutting, the mess. Oh but I am so glad I did it just for moments like the above.

What I am reading:


An interesting look at faith through a geographical lens. Faith not defined by religious denomination but by where you were born and raised.

What I am listening to:

Oh I know it’s clichéd but this ones on repeat especially when I run. We had it in the air, we just couldn’t land it.