Panorama Screening: How much do you want to know about your baby?

how did you reveal the gender of your baby

When I first learned I was pregnant and attended my first OB appointment (you know... when she is no longer your Gyno and suddenly becomes your OB), my husband and I made a quick decision: we wanted to run all the tests and know everything possible about the baby, except if the baby was a boy or a girl. The only thing we didn't want to know was the gender. And we were told that was fine, we had another 10 weeks to wait until it was time for that. Granted, this was 12 years ago and the … [Read more...]

Why one little word means so little

why one little word means so little

I rolled my eyes a bundle in seventh grade, especially at my English teacher. He sat in his rocking chair and spat off rules of grammar, he read books with us that had little significance in my daily life, and he was quick to catch us passing notes. But, 28 years later, I recognize the value of what he taught me. He taught me one of the most significant lessons in all of my schooling. It's something I've held onto... something I use daily. He taught me not to use the word "nice." The very … [Read more...]

Celebrating reading: a reflection on our family’s growth

family reading journey 2015

I love re-reading old personal posts and reflecting on how things have changed... or haven't. The original post from 2012 focused on my children, where we were in reading and how we planned to celebrate Read Across America. Today, I'm updating the post in Cat-in-the-Hat red.  I have three very different children. Like me, my oldest loves to read. In school his teacher is constantly reminding him to put the book away and pay attention. He reads on the bus, in the car, in front of the TV. … [Read more...]

Does parenting get harder than raising a 5-year-old girl?

parenting 5 year old girl

In June, I addressed my frustrations and emotions about raising a little 4-year-old girl in a post that I finally felt strong enough to publish 7 weeks later, 2 days before Little turned 5. I was brought back to that post last week, when reading a highly debated article at Yahoo! Parenting, Why 5 May Be the Hardest Age of All. Almost 6 months later, I vividly remember sitting in the car that day, pulling the car over and crying in frustration. Four, almost five, was definitely the hardest … [Read more...]

Praying for David

praying for david, prayers, loss

I've come back to an old post a lot in the past two weeks. In that post, I explored prayer, what it is, and how to do it. This post, from 2011, addresses how there are many ways to pray and that it's okay to pray differently. I can't recall what made me write the post in 2011, what horrible tragedy we were praying for at the time or what change we were hopeful for. But I recall that, in writing that post, it became okay for me to pray in my own way. Usually, that's silently or in discussion. … [Read more...]

The toys of my youth… and the toys of today

toys i played with

Growing up, I had a problem. I loved playing board games. My mom? Notsomuch. I distinctly remember a conversation that went something along the lines of Me: Mom, we want to play The Game of Life. Will you play with us? Mom: No thanks. Me: But why??? You can play while you make dinner. Mom: Fine. I'll tell you. I really don't like board games. Actually. I hate board games. Me: That's impossible. You can't hate board games. No one hates board games. I know! You must be afraid of board … [Read more...]

Enjoying summer and focusing on making every last minute left count


I just love summer! (I know. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times.) And every year, I grow to love summer more and more with my family. I love everything from eating outside on our deck to hours at the pool to having time to read. Even more, I love doing it with my kids and husband. I love vacations and day trips and that there's no rush after a day of school to get homework done and run to soccer or baseball or gymnastics or swim team practice. I just love the laid back … [Read more...]

#PURELLLendaHand partners with Champions for Kids and our kids take the assignment even further

thank you

It all started a few weeks ago. I kept hearing the good old "I wants" and "I needs" and "I have to gets." It being Summer, it seemed even more prominent. When I finally had heard enough, I pulled out the same speech we've all said and we've all heard: you already have so much! Don't forget there are kids who don't have anything near what you have. Think about everything you really, really need. And how much that costs. Think about the kids who have trouble getting things like a healthy dinner. … [Read more...]

Four turns to Five


It's here. It's like the little hump that's been a hop, a skip, and a jump away. Except, now, it's a few skips with her hair flowing up and down behind her. Little is going to be 5 this week. F-I-V-E. Nope, I can't believe it either. Yesterday, I texted a friend I have this unreal expectation that on Wednesday, when Allie turns 5, this attitude will suddenly disappear. My husband calls it Allieitis. You see, this little four year old girl is a tough four year old girl. A few months … [Read more...]

Memories of Maine 2014


I have to tell you, there is nothing as sweet as a good vacation. You know how I love big, busy trips (hello! Disney and Universal both come to mind) but hiding away from it all in a lakeside cabin in Maine with intermittent reception just can't be beat for true relaxation. A few highlights I don't ever want to forget:   Driving up to Maine, about an hour or so into the trip, the sky turned an ominous dark, dark gray. We watched, as we continued north, the gray clouds take over, … [Read more...]