Thursday, March 5, 2015


Me: "Hi, Tuck! I'm so happy to see you. Mama missed you so much while I was in the hospital. Get over here and gimme a hug."
Tuck: "Okay, Mama. (insert quick hug) That e-nuf. Where my bee-bee? I rock her now?"

Mags completed Tuck and Tuck completed Mags. From the first moment he held her, it was like she was always there. They were the best of friends. He asked for her constantly. She responded to him more than anyone else. The second she would hear his voice, all was right in her little, overstimulated, newborn world. He was the Mags Whisperer. And still is. 

Do they fight? Of course. Do they get sick of each other? Definitely. But, they're bond is one that I am in awe of constantly. No matter the time, space, or situation, those two are there for one another. I have a strong feeling it will remain that way for all time. 

And their story all started in our first home. 
Oh, the stories those walls could tell!  


Tuck (age 2): "Yook it, Mama! It a barn...right dere!"
Me and Chris: "Wow. You're right, Tuck. It does look like a barn."

BOOM! That's how the name of our garage was born. "The Barn." And just like the structure, we built our memories in that 700 square foot room. Its walls echoed with screams of laughter and was inundated with rays of sunshine. It was a place where pirates were born, ocean of carpet were sailed, ships were docked and our imaginations were charged. 

In that room, a brother and sister learned to play together. A bond was born. 
We set the stage for more fun to be had. Oh, Barn. We'll miss you the most. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Tuck: "Awww. Look at my fish mobile, Mama. What happened to that?"
Me: "I took it down the day I came in to get you from your nap and found you swinging from it."

We prepped. We painted. We paced. We pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. Tuck came in his own good time ... in "Tuck Time." We were a family in an instant. There were tears of happiness, tears of frustration, tears of fears ... and tears of colic.

The constant hum of the vacuum was our only hope against the rage of the cry. It soothed the beast within the tiny baby. That, and his daddy's thumb. But only Daddy's. Not Mama's. Not Meme's. Not even the UPS Delivery Man's (there were no limits to what I would do to stop the incessant crying).  

Within those walls we rocked, sang, bounced and laughed. Within those wall we were safe, warm, happy and loved. 

Within those walls...we were...a little family.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Mags: "Look at you and Daddy in that picture. You guys look Were you really that young? I mean, Mama, you look so good. Look at that! You have no crinkles around your eyes and these dark things (pointing to the dark suitcases under my eyes) aren't there either."

Me: "You mean my eye bags? They come with children. No extra charge."

It was a simple house. "Live within your means" was our driving force when we looked. Eight to ten houses were on our ambitious agenda the day we found it. If you asked either one of us, we could tell you the EXACT moment we knew. For me, it was the bathroom. I was coming out of the downstairs half-bath as Chris came around the corner. We saw each other and simultaneously mouthed, 

"This is it."  

And so it began.

For 11 years, 5 months and 9 days

Photo credit: C.Alexander, September 2003

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Tuck: "How can you be so happy that we'll never live in our old house again?"
Me: "It has just been a lot of extra work for me and Daddy, Tuck. It'll be nice to just have ONE house to worry about again. I'm sorry. I know you loved that house."
Tuck: "It's all I ever knew for eight years. How can you forget it just like that?  I miss my room. I miss the smell. I miss IT!"

That was an eye-opening conversation I had with Tuck the other day as we pulled away from our soon-to-be-sold house on the mountain. It has been a long process for us: preparing the house, putting the house on the market, waiting for people to look at it, fixing (and replacing) things that broke along the way, and overall, taking care of routine maintenance. After having been on the market for almost a year, my feelings have gone from sad nostalgia to pure relief. I was so happy someone found our sweet house to love. 

But Tuck reminded me of something. He hasn't felt what I've felt for over the past year. He hasn't been worried about things breaking down, price changes, foot traffic and normal upkeep. He hasn't had to make phone calls, locate paperwork, or make stomach-wrenching decisions. He hasn't had to be the adult in this situation.

What he has been in this situation ...  the kid. He felt a loss over the past year. He moved away from all he has ever known. He had to leave the safety and comfort of his well-known surroundings.  He had to adapt to a new house...with new creaks in the night. He had to adjust to a new school. He had to make new friends. He had to join new after-school activities. He had to move on.

But he was resilient. He did it. WE did it. Together. And as I told Chris this conversation I had with our son through my tears, he reminded me gently that this has been a life lesson for us all. Things change whether we are truly ready for them or not. The important part is how we handle the change. We've all grown stronger, more determined and smarter through this process.

Thank you, Tuck, my sweet boy, 
for brushing the "adult" away from my eyes for a moment. 
That way, I could see our true accomplishment in all its purity!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


VickyI love that you posted a photo of a real happy girl in a real room with real mess! More rocking Mums like you need to show that life is not "picture ready" so other Mum's can feel normal. Iyou!

I walked by Mags' room the other day and caught her bee-bopping around it.  I couldn't let the moment pass, so I grabbed my phone and shot this quick picture. The joy on her face was so pure. Naturally, I wanted to share it for our extended family to see. So, I got on Facebook, pulled up the picture on my phone, submitted it to the post and then...clicked CANCEL. Once I really looked beyond that precious expression, I panicked.  This thought process followed:

"Her room looks like a disaster! What will people think? I can't post this. People will think we're slobs."

And then her expression caught my eye again. That sparkle in her eye overrode any of my rationale. I threw caution to the wind, went to Instagram, applied some filters, which only seemed to accentuate the mess,  and clicked SHARE. I don't post reality-in-picture-form enough. 

I crop pictures like crazy. If I need a posed shot, I move the kids to a clutter-free space in the house. But every once in a while, reality needs to shine through. Too often I post my seemingly clutter-less life...when in reality...there's a 2x2 "backdrop" (if I'm lucky) in our house that doesn't have a counter littered with the week's worth of school papers or a sink with a mountain of two (or three-day-old) dishes in it. I don't know about you, but Barbie and Optimus Prime often take up residence in crevices and corners that ruin a seemingly perfect picture. Photo the worst way possible.

There's a beauty in reality. It brings about camaraderie.  It's nice to know I'm not the only one. Hey, if Cindy Crawford can post untouched photos, then so can I. (Ummm..I mean my house untouched...not me in a feather coat and lingerie.) But go on with your bad self, Ms. Crawford. 

And welcome to all my little, future photo bombers!  

We've been Mags bombed! Me and @olddognewtits.
Photo credit: ODNT Jr. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Time for a BonBon Break

After I put the kids into bed, I came downstairs to finish up a project.

Me: (reading and recording a past post into my iPhone for BonBon Break)

Once I finished, from the stairs I heard my 9yo clapping followed by:

Tuck: "I'm always so proud of you, Mama." (footsteps darting up the stairs)

Last week, I was honored to have one of my most treasured posts featured on BonBon Break.  Have you heard of them? They are "an online magazine for the modern mom." They have an eclectic collection of writers from all over the Internet that offer tips, provide a much needed laugh, or give you some inspiration. 

It all started a few weeks ago when BonBon Break called for posts about LOVE for February. I knew I had the perfect one about my proposal, so I submitted it. I was honored when their incredible Editor in Chief, Val, contacted me about posting it. Some of you may remember reading this post in the past, or, heck, even being there for the summer of the proposal. You can check it out on the BonBon Break site:

Photo credit: BonBon Break

After it was posted, I heard from Val once more. She asked if I'd be interested in recording it for their newly developed Podcast. That was a no brainer! Of course I was!  I recorded it quickly and sent it off to their Creative Director, Greg. He worked his sound editing magic and VOILA! I was live. You can hear it here:

Thanks so much for having me over for a BonBon Break! 
I hope I can come by again soon!

 Bonbon Break