The Nutcracker is coming to my house…

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in memories, My Mama Kat Moments..., perspective | 0 comments

I’m linking up with Mama Kat and MomPulse this week to answer the question, “What’s one of your favorite memories from Christmas 2012?” We had a tough go of it with Parker being sick, but there were some bright spots…here’s one of them…


Ant farm: Good or bad?

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in moments with madi | 1 comment

My brother just got an ant farm. Is that good or bad? I am putting  lists of what’s good about Parker (my brother’s name) getting an ant farm, and what’s bad about Parker getting an ant farm.




  1. Parker spends a lot of time WITH THE ANTS!
  2. My Dad spends a lot of time WITH THE ANTS!
  3. Parker barely seems to notice me!



  1. I HAVE A PET!


With the lists, it probably is bad about the ant farm. But, it is nice to have a pet!:)


Written by: Madi 

on purple crayons, Waldo glasses, and missing tears…

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 in memories | 0 comments

I walked out to the car, my mind buzzing with a thousand things I needed to get done. Groceries…class prep…overdue writing assignments…my jam-packed inbox. Clicking my seatbelt, I went to turn the key in the ignition and stopped cold in my tracks. I felt like I was forgetting something…so I thought back through my morning…

Fiona had woken up early to get ready for her first day of preschool. She picked out one of her new favorite dresses and put on her new pink sparkly backpack, ready to hit the day. (The kid has quite the smile…)

When we arrived at school, we were able to spend the first half an hour of class together, doing things like furiously scribbling purple and blue crayon all over her picture, filling out her little “about me” form, and helping her find the sleeves of her jacket before she headed out for recess.

After she went out to play, I stopped in the gym for a donut, chatting with a few parents and then peeking out the window to see if she was playing with any other kids before I left. It seemed like an absolutely normal morning…and then I realized what was missing.

My tears.

I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t emotional, I wasn’t traumatized…and I wasn’t crying. What was going on?

People had always said to me that the youngest kid always gets the least amount of “paranoid parent worry”, and they are probably right. I worry less about “things” with Fiona, not only because we’ve “been there, done that”, but because she is absolutely fearless. She walked into the preschool room like she owned the place, and wanted to start playing almost immediately. It made it so much easier to leave knowing that she felt safe and comfortable being there.

I am sure it helps that her best friend is in her class…

But I still felt weird, and a little bit guilty. Shouldn’t I be sad about leaving her for a couple of hours, and weepy about the time she would be away? I sat there thinking about it, almost willing the tears to come, but there just weren’t any. Instead, I felt proud of her for being such a grownup girl, excited for her to have the chance to experience a classroom, and honestly, thrilled to have a couple hours (to myself) to get a few things done.

I came back (running late, of course) to find my girl smiling, full of stories from the morning, and ready to hit up Wendy’s with Georgia. They regaled us with a stunning performance of “Slippery Fish” in the middle of the restaurant, complete with the “humongous whale” burping.

Now that? That made me want to tear up more than anything…to see her so happy, from her ponytailed head to her silver-shoed toes….to her brand-new Where’s Waldo glasses.

Those are the best kind of tears.




Posted by on Sep 8, 2012 in memories, motherhood | 1 comment

I remember when Parker stopped napping consistently. I was pregnant with Fiona…over three years ago. He never needed as much sleep as most kids his age, and he made that abundantly clear very early.

In one respect, it was a blessing, because the most common complaint for “middle” kids is that they get less one-on-one time with their parents. I feel like we sidestepped that trip to the psychologist’s office because we ended up having more than our share of “alone time”, Parker and I, with Madi in school and Fiona napping. Lots of time playing soccer in the yard, making interesting concoctions, reading, watching TV together, and sometimes just trying to stay out of each other’s way. It has not always been easy, as someone who really enjoys having a few minutes to myself…by myself (who doesn’t, I suppose), and there were some days where we both got on each other’s last nerve.

But I honestly loved my time with Parker, the kid who loves to snuggle and play with my hair, who has no concept of personal space, and who adores music so much that it spills out of every pore. He’s particular to a fault, would rather stay home than go…anywhere, and could watch movies all day long. He wants to be a producer someday…or a stay-at-home dad…or both.

And he left me this week.

I remember being so sad and anxious about Madi starting school full time for many different reasons, but Parker? It is pure selfishness on my part. He is so ready for school, he doesn’t even want me to come inside to pick him up. When I dropped him off on his first day, he dashed over to the Gathering Place for storytime faster than I could say “don’t forget to eat your lunch”. I know he will do great…

…it’s me I am worried about.

I know – we will all adjust sooner or later.

I know – I will have many more “good byes” in my future.

I know – it’s just part of being a parent.

I know all of these things, but it didn’t make this week any easier. You don’t get to “take back” that moment of sending your kids to school for the first time, and it felt a little like cutting off my right arm and shipping it to China. The wound is oozing loss, both physical and emotional, and it is going to take a little while for it to scab over.

He came home happy…talking about getting “sparkles” from his teacher and flying on the tire swing. I was happy for him, but I was even happier to have him home sitting in my lap, twirling my hair.

hello third grade…

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in memories, motherhood | 0 comments

When I think back to elementary school, third grade stands out as the first year where I have distinct memories instead of blurry images. I remember making globes out of gluey strips of newspaper and balloons. I remember roller skating parties in the gym after school. I remember (traumatically) watching the Challenger launch in the neighboring third grade classroom. I remember trying to beat this red-haired kid Patrick in a foot race on the playground. I remember reading and reading…digging deeper into the musty library stacks to find new books to read.

Memorable moments.

And as I send Madi off to third grade this year, I am struck by how fast we have gotten to this point. Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was learning to write her name and how she is writing everything in cursive? Overnight she has turned into this flutter shirt wearing, constantly chattering, lover of Cupcake Wars, and convinced that she is going to be the world’s greatest chef someday. She’s self sufficient and brave (most of the time) and can read as fast as me.

I wonder what third grade has in store for my Madi-girl. I want…I pray that her year is as memorable (in good ways) as my third grade year was. May her friends not be catty and her teachers understanding. May she find ways to shine in a world where everyone is graded on a curve. May she realize her potential instead of just doing what needs to be done. May she walk boldly through the school door without having to look back and see her mama with tears sliding down her face as I watch her slip through my fingers.

Make some moments this year, my girl. Make it a good year, a year to remember.




Be strong.

Hug your mama.


I’ll listen.

my Lake Michigan “beach kids”…

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in memories | 0 comments

There is something special about taking my kids to the beach. All of a sudden, my kids who ask to “play on my phone” as soon as we get into the car, throw fits if I don’t let them watch “one more show”, and ask me to find things for them to do constantly, turn into “beach kids” that can easily find hours of entertainment with a bucket and a shovel. This was never more obvious than last week. We were on vacation with Ben’s family in South Haven, Michigan – and because of the amazing weather, we spent a good portion of every day at Lake Michigan. It was amazing to me that the moment they hit the sand, they were off and running, playing together and finding “fun” in the simplest things…

sunset romps

driftwood collecting

watching the waves 

sandy secrets


inner tubes

jumping the waves

cousin company





sand sculptures

I adore our “beach kids”, and watching them grow up appreciating Lake Michigan and the beauty it has to offer?


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