Epiphanies and Breakfast Cookies

My little pumpkin, eating a pumpkin!

This morning started put normal, but went downhill quickly. Grace was in a mood, and I was in no mood for whining. It started with tights. She threw a fit as soon as she saw them, even when I begged, pleaded, cajoled and offered to turn them inside out (she hates the seam). Finally, in frustration, I threw her pretty dress on her and told her she could wear leggings. She immediately started screaming, saying her dress was “too itchy.” I threw up my hands and went to take my shower.

By the time I got out, Gracie was completely naked, having taken off the offending dress. I took a deep breath and told her to pick out her own clothes. I had to do the 3 count to get her to put undies on (they were itchy, too, apparently!) I then got her into her chosen leggings and shirt, but we reached another impasse and argued over socks for another ten minutes. I put them aside and went to get snacks ready. I packed up Christopher’s backpack, but again Grace started to scream that she didn’t want a snack for school today. I packed it anyway, and went to retrieve the socks she had thrown. After wrestling with those those another minute, I grabbed her sandals and carried her kicking and screaming to the car. Getting her buckled into her harness carseat was super fun! (Sarcasm).

By now she was crying and yelling that she didn’t want to go to school. Chris was plugging his ears as we waited for his bus, and I was beyond frustrated, raising my voice over her to tell her to knock it off. Chris got on the bus, I pulled off of our street, and her screams intensified.

After about a quarter mile, something hit me. I work from home, so preschool is not for childcare, it’s supposed to be fun. Today I could drop her off screaming as the teacher pulled her from my arms, or I could give in and let her take a day off. I need mental health days sometimes, so why shouldn’t she?

I took a deep breath, pulled the car over, and got into the back seat.

“Grace, look at mommy so I can talk to you. You’re having a tough day today, and so is mama. Do you need to take a day off?”

She nodded, sniffling. I told her that she needs to go to school in Thursday, but that it was okay if she was feeling off and needed to take a break today. She immediately brightened.

As I got back into the driver’s seat, I realized that in all the chaos, I had never even gotten her to eat breakfast. We headed to Panera, where I pointed out all of the muffins. She wanted a cookie decorated like a pumpkin. Sometimes you just need a cookie for breakfast, so I agreed. As she ate her cookie, my girl became herself again and made her typical three year old observations about the world around her.

I’m so glad I took that breath and pulled the car over. I tell my adult friends to practice self care, and yet when I comes to myself and my kids I tend to lack that ability. Take a day. Sometimes you’re not physically sick, but you’re tired, worn out, stressed, etc. And sometimes, you just need a cookie.

The Real Parent Trap

The real “parent trap” is, for some, co-sleeping! I know this can be a hot button issue, but for me it was never a choice that I consciously made to do or not do with any of my children. My mind basically becomes mush when I need sleep, and decisions are often made by instinct.

With Leah, I didn’t really co-sleep, at least not at night. She was my easiest baby and slept very well! She would, however, wake up very early, and I quickly learned that if we brought her into our bed she would snuggle in and go back to sleep for a few more hours. Yup, I said HOURS! So, it was definitely worth it.

Me and my firstborn napping!

With Christopher, it was self preservation that led me to co-sleep. The baby did not sleep, ever. At all. We brought him home from the hospital and he was just awake all the time. He would fuss when I put him down. We took turns sleeping for two hours and then being up with him. By his fourth day I called my mom in tears because I was so exhausted! So, into our bed he came. Sometimes he would sleep, sometimes not. When he was a toddler I would let him watch Elmo while I dozed. I reasoned that crappy sleep was better than no sleep at all.

Eventually he did begin to catch some z’s, but he always needed endless snuggles, melatonin, arm sniffs (he loves my smell), and stories. And, he was so used to being in our bed that he continued to be with us. He finally started sleeping on his own when Gracie came along. Actually, a little before she was born. She liked to kick all night in my belly and that bothered him! I cannot make this stuff up 😂.

Baby Chris, all comfy in my bed.

And then there was Grace. She actually started out a good sleeper, much like her big sister. There were occasional times, when she was sick or being extra clingy, when she would climb into our bed. For the most part, she was pretty great!

Until we moved. We had a period of two months between selling our old house and moving into our new one. During that time we stayed in a one bedroom apartment and the three kids shared the bedroom. Dave and I had our mattress in the living room. Grace would not fall asleep in her crib there, although she had been doing it for a year at the old house. It started with snuggling her on our mattress until she was out and then moving her, but quickly turned into her joining us again a fee hours later. We didn’t want her cries waking her siblings. By the time we got to the new house, habits were set in stone.

So, here I am, snuggling my three old in her bed and knowing that halfway through the night she will wake up and toddle to my room. At first it was rough. She liked the “H” position and Dave and I were miserable. Lately, however, I look forward to her coming in. Sometimes I hear her little feet running across the house. She climbs up up hands me a stuffed animal (she brings one for herself and one for me). I feel her body melt into mine and her breath evens out right away. I think to myself, maybe this isn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

My Gracie girl

Maybe you co-sleep. Maybe you don’t. We all do what we need to survive, and we also do what is right for our children. I don’t regret anything. My baby is three and is so busy throughout the day. I am savoring our night time snuggles while they last, knowing that I may never experience love in the form of a sleepy hand reaching out to find me in the dark ever again

A Piece of Me

Adults tend to wear many hats, or fill many roles. For instance, I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a business owner, etc. Each of those is a broad category with lots of subcategories underneath. Filling these roles can be overwhelming, and often causes us to go into auto-pilot; doing the things we must to survive, to get through the day, week, or month. And yet, are we truly LIVING when this happens?

Although I love my career as a dressmaker (or fabric artist extraodinaire), it is a job. Sewing no longer falls into the category of hobby for me. And that left me with…no hobbies. I don’t do yoga, I don’t cook for fun, I read when I have time (which is rarely). I feel burnt out a lot! And I tell myself that there is just no time for me to enjoy the things I love while also working, taking care if a home, and raising children and nurturing their interests. Maybe someday, I will think, I will have time to find and honor myself.

Recently an opportunity literally smacked me in the face. I have always wanted to do theater. It truly has been a lifelong dream of mine, but I was a small (and shy and quiet) fish in a giant pond in my school days. I auditioned a few times, but my lack of confidence was a huge detriment and I never got a part.

As an adult, I have been involved in theater in other ways, while supporting my daughter. I do costumes and sit on the board of a local theater group that she has been involved with for several years. I absolutely love it, but it was never quite enough to fulfill my dream. In the spring of the dreaded 2020, I auditioned to be in Annie with my kids. I snagged a part in the ensemble and truly had a blast rehearsing with them! Then COVID happened and it all fell apart. We did eventually do a very excellent virtual version of the show, for which I give our director so much credit for making happen! But it wasn’t quite the experience I have always dreamed of.

Some of the local theater people that I know started their own group, and I have been supporting them from the sidelines. I confided in one friend that I wished I could audition for an original play that the group was doing a staged reading of, but that I didn’t have time. A couple of weeks after auditions the same friend messaged me and asked if I would be interested since one of the cast had to drop out. I responded that I was interested, and the next thing I knew the playwright and director was messaging me with the script and asking if I would accept the role. Nervously, I agreed. The rehearsals were one evening a week and I vowed to myself to make it work.

At my first rehearsal I admitted to Tim, the director, that I had never done anything like this. Let me tell you, Tim is an amazing man. He gave me constructive criticism throughout that never made me feel bad or second guess whether I should do this. Instead, he has this way of building you up and making you feel completely confident even when he is asking you for more. Not only that, but the rest of the cast quickly became like family and everyone was so kind and encouraging. My role was not a small one, and not an easy one (the play is a very emotional drama).

We performed last weekend, and I had the time of my life. I felt so good about myself, about the story my cast mates and I portrayed to the audience, and about the entire experience. I know that I made some lifelong friends, and that, while my kids come first and life is busy, it will not be my last time acting on stage.

What I want you all to take away from this is that no matter how many roles you fill, hats you wear, or how busy you are with life, it’s okay to take time and find a piece of yourself. You only get one life to live, so you have to make time to do the things that you enjoy. Those are the things that make you who you are. Its not selfish to live your life to the fullest or to do something that is just for you. And I can guarantee that when you do, your passion for life will come alive and you will be able to turn off that auto pilot and take joy in all aspects of your life.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

David, this year I am so very thankful for you. I always have been, but I need to acknowledge it now because I have been through so much and you have gotten me through it all. I never could have survived 2020 without you. Thank you for being by my side and being the love of my life. Thank you for drying my many tears. Thank you for all the big, warm bear hugs that make me feel so safe. Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for loving me at my worst, most weakest moments. Thank you for understanding when I have nothing left to gift. Thank you for loving me, no matter what.

Patience and Forgiveness

This year has been hard, in many ways. Not only have my children not been to school since March, but its not even like I can take them fun places to get their energy out. It’s also difficult to get a break! They are pretty much with me 24/7.

Dave and I were able to go out to dinner last weekend while my parents took care of the kids. You know how it is when you are able to finally get a break with your spouse and all you two talk about is the kids the whole time? That was us! One of the things we talked about is the vicious cycle we have been in for the last couple of months. The kids have been so rammy and whiny that we are finding ourselves looking forward to their bedtime all day, but then we feel guilty for feeling that way.

It was good to know that I have not been alone in that struggle and that he has been feeling the same way. But mostly, it was really good to admit that out loud and acknowledge that this is something we have to overcome.

So, this week I have been practicing patience and forgiveness. I have made an effort to be more patient with the kids. When one of them is whining I have taken the time to find out why. Or to take some time and just be with them. Working from home is hard with kids, but I realized that I have to forgive them for interrupting my work flow because they are, well, kids! Sometimes I have to know when to push through and get my work done and when to take a break and give them what they are craving (some mommy time). In addition, I have been working on being patient and forgiving of myself. All parents have moments when the kids are driving them crazy, and that’s okay. You just have to acknowledge it, let it be a moment in time, and then savor all the many joyful moments in between.


I have been going back and forth about what to say in this post for a few days. Here’s the deal, in the past I have posted about our difficulties with Chris and some of his issues. He is now almost 7, and while there are plenty of times I need to vent, I respect his privacy too much to put it all out there. I have a wonderful support system of family and friends who understand and I can vent my frustration and go into detail with them.

I will say this: we continue to struggle. Not everything in life is easy, but often those are the most worthwhile things. That is the case with my son. When he laughs, truly laughs, it makes my heart soar. I appreciate him and the fact that he has taught me patience and grace and given me unconditional love, as much as I have given it to him. Neither of us is perfect, we both make mistakes on this wild journey he has taken me on, but at the end of the day I know that he loves me and he knows that I love him.

Chris is absolutely hilarious. The things he comes out with kill me! He is also extremely bright and has a way of really grasping and understanding complex concepts, and then explaining them back to me better than I explained them to him. He loves his big sister more than anything in the world, and no one can make him more angry than she can. He loves his little sister to pieces even though she lives to torment him.

In the big picture, the parts that we struggle with are small, even though it doesn’t always feel that way. It’s a part of who he is, but it is not all that he is. He is an amazing little boy that I just know is going to grow up to do big, important things with his many gifts and talents. It may be a bumpy road getting him there, but I am up for all the tantrums, snuggles, mood swings, Harry Potter marathons, silly jokes, and learning curves that it will take.

He stops to pose, even on a hike!


The baby girl who started it all, who inspired me to write so that I could bottle up and re-live her childhood, is now a tween. I used to hate that word and didn’t think it was real thing. Let me tell you, I was wrong! She is caught in the weird place between childhood and being a teenager. She is ready to take on the world, but needs me to hold her hand while she does it.

Leah is quiet and reserved. She thinks a lot, but its rare for her to tell you what she is thinking about. She is so creative and loves to write, draw, sing, and make up elaborate games to play with her brother.

My oldest daughter is thoughtful and sweet. She is one of the kindest humans I have ever met. We got a kitten a couple of months ago, and that baby cat has good taste, because she has adopted Leah as her human. She follows her around, sits outside the bathroom door while she showers, and sleeps in her bed.

Leah has the extraordinary imagination of a child. She comes up with such beautiful stories with characters that she describes so well they feel like old friends. Sometimes I feel like she is forty, she is so mature and well-spoken. Sometimes I wish that she is three, because these days were gone too quickly. Leah, however, is eleven; and that suits her.

Tall, gorgeous, quiet, messy, thoughtful, compassionate, funny, smart. This girl has been through so much over the last year and I could not be more proud of how she carries herself. She is stoic, sometimes to her own detriment. I am trying to teach her it’s okay to let it out. She will get there. I know she will. My girl, she is going places.

Leah in her natural habitat!

I’m Not Okay…and That’s Okay!

In February of this year I lost my bonus dad, my JC. It was unexpected and it was devastating. He has been in my life since I was 8 years old, and I adored him. He made my mom so happy, spoiled the heck out of me and taught me how to make life fun. He was Papa to my babies.

Less than a month later, the country shut down. My house sold. There were changes with my business. My whole world was turned upside down. I don’t know if I even got to properly grieve or process everything that was happening.

Grief is weird. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think it truly follows ‘seven stages’, at least not for everyone. We are each unique, and so is the way we deal with loss. For me it ebbs and flows. I can spend weeks feeling fine and then weeks feeling down. Or I can feel fine all day, and then get hit with the weight of it like a wrecking ball to my heart. Tonight was one of those times. I was on my way home and the thought suddenly filled my mind, “I miss you.” And I do. I miss him so much it hurts. So I cried until I got to the last light before my street, and then I got myself together. I walked in and my mom, who had been babysitting, was telling me how wonderful the kids were today. Suddenly I felt the squeezing of my heart again, and I couldn’t hold back the tears.

My mom is my rock, and I am hers. She knows me so well and she immediately pulled me into the comfort of her arms and didn’t have to ask why I was crying. Later on, after the kids were in bed, we talked on the phone.

Grief doesn’t follow a set path. There is no acceptable amount of time to feel it. You may always feel it, depending how deep the loss. It will get better, but then again, it could hit you out of nowhere. That’s okay, too.

I realized tonight that no matter how big the hurt is now, I am grateful. I had to love so much, and be loved in return, to feel this amount of pain now. Even though it sucks, I am lucky. I am grateful. I am glad.

Life Story

Once upon a time there was a young mother who liked to write. She had the sweetest baby girl, Leah, who was her whole world. The mother decided to start a blog to record her memories, milestones, and her funny take on life situations. The blog was fairly successful and had a decent following for awhile.

One day, the young mama found out that she was pregnant again, this time for a little boy named Christopher. She still found time to blog and write, but not quite as much as she used to. She was also back in college working on her bachelor’s degree.

The mom got a part time job, the babies grew into children, started school and had interests of their own. The mom had less and less time to write and abandoned her blog all together. Eventually, a third baby, Gracie Jo, was born. The mom started her own business, and was super busy all the time caring for her children, being a cook, a maid, a taxi driver, etc.

Then, 2020 happened. We all know how that goes. The mom, however, used a lot of time to reflect on her values, her interests, and the things that make her happy. She spent a lot of time with her kids and even decided to homeschool them. After awhile, the crazy year really started to get her down. She was feeling sad a lot, but still found time to be grateful for the moments of pure joy that her three children gave to her. She decided that even though she absolutely loved her business, her kids, her husband, and her home, she needed an outlet. She needed something that she enjoyed doing, and would use her creativity in a different way than her business.

It was then that the mom remembered her blog, which was covered in proverbial cobwebs by then. She was extremely elated, however, to realize that it hadn’t gone anywhere. All of her writing, her funny and heart warming stories from the early days of her motherhood, were all right where she had left them, awaiting her return. And so, the mom vowed that she would write again, if only to record her thoughts and memories for herself. And then, she lived happily ever after.

NOT the end.