Friday, October 11, 2013

international day of the girl

October 11 is International Day of the Girl.

Luckily I have a girl.
A fantastic girl.

In honor of such an important day, I thought I would write her a little note.  
A note she won't read for years to come, but still important.

Dear Ellie,

I love you.
I love how confident you are.
I love what a good friend you are and how you genuinely care about the people around you.
I love the outfits you come up with and how insane they are, yet somehow work.
I love how you still curl into me when we read at night.
I love that crazy gap toothed smile.
I love that you love to talk.  And talk.  And talk.
I love the way you smell.  
If I get down deep in that neck, I can still smell the tiny baby smell.
Barely, but it's there.

I hope you are always confident.
That you always fly your freak flag proudly.
That you continue to love what you love no matter what others say.
Whether or not it's cool.
(for the record, I love Barbra Streisand, stale popcorn, and I carry a hankie and will shout it from the rooftops.)

I hope you go from being nice to your friends, to befriending the lonely.  
Be a champion.
Be the girl that others girls want to be.
Not because you are the prettiest or the best dressed.
But because you are the kindest.

I hope you are always brave in your choices.
Right now it is clothes and shoes and hanging upside down from the monkey bars.
Someday, I hope that bravery is present when making the tough decisions.
To go away to school.
To get a doctorate or not.
To travel.
Good grief.
I hope you are brave enough to do it all.

I hope I am always your base.
Your soft place to land.
Your sounding board and your voice of reason.
I hope you always love me like you do right now.
Or some grown up version of it at least.

I want you to remember that you are awesome.
All the time.
Even when you make a mistake.
Especially when you make a mistake.
Life is all about the mistakes we make and learning from them.
I want you to make a bunch of them.

When you have grown up, 
 and done everything you want to do with your life,
I want you to find someone who loves you for you.
Who makes you laugh so hard your sides hurt.
Someone who rubs your feet and always fills your car with gas because he know you hate to do it.
Someone you are willing to work hard with to make a good life together.
I want you to find someone who you never have to worry about.
Never have to second guess.
Someone who you have complete and total trust in.
Someone you find sinfully handsome. 
I want your life partner to be your best friend.
It's just easier that way.
And this is the one area of your life I want to be easy for you.
As it's been for me.

Dear Ellie,

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
You are the coolest girl I know.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

new gig

Things always have a way of working out.

Chris got promoted at work.
His flexibility went from a bunch to hardly any.
Which means I need to be way more flexible.

At my current job that just wasn't possible.

So I started talking to people.
It is amazing what that can do.
A simple conversation here and there.

I happened to run into a friend of mine the end of July.
A few conversations and a personality test later,
and I have the job of my dreams.

Business Manager for Prosper for Purpose.

I will be doing a little of this and a little of that.
And I get to work with two fabulous women.
And a bunch of fantastic clients.

No joke.

Welcome to my new office.

My very own dining room.

Here is my new co-worker.
He is so cute.
But a titch lazy.
I think I will be covering his butt a time or two.

Friday, September 20, 2013

captured in a photo

This is so her right now.

Hair in a messy pony.
Half rubbed off tattoo on her hand.
Chipped nail polish.

Ready for any excitement that comes her way.
Ready to throw her hands up and ride the waves.

All of these are my very favorite things about her.
At least at this moment.

This parenting thing?
It just gets better and better and better.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Summer is just getting right by me.
I don't like that.

Time goes so dang fast.
Why does it have to do that?

I mean, I sneezed and it was the end of July.

My girl and I,
we have struggled a bit this summer.
She wants me home.
I want me home.

But it is just not in the cards.

So before I forget,
I want to remember her how she is.
Right this very moment.

She is funny.
Good gravy that girl makes me laugh.

Her hair is never fully brushed.
Never Ever.
Drives me nuts.

Nothing she wears matches.

She loves baby polar bear.
And barbies.
And her scooter.
And ice cream.

She is good at softball.
Like, good.
Her little arm is still not strong enough to throw it very far, but watch out when it is.
She is on a co-ed 6-10 year old team.
10 year old boys on her team.
I'm not scared anymore.
She can hold her own.
She lifts her chin up when she strikes out.
She wants to cry.
But doesn't.
Cause there's no crying in baseball.

She is convinced she will be the first female American Ninja Warrior.
And we never miss an episode.

She's excited for school.
But mostly cause it means new shoes.
Lord help me.

She is so pretty.
And I struggle not to tell her every single time I look at her.
It's a fine line.
Wanting her to know how gorgeous she is.
But wanting her not to care at all.

She is so strong!
She can do things I could never do.
Shimmy up a rope.
One armed push-ups.
Girlfriend is fierce!

She is sensitive.
To the point of distraction.
This worries me to no end.
Her feelings get hurt so easily.
Just like mine do.
And I know how hard that is.

She is almost half way through 7.
I like 7.
I like that she wants to be around me.
I'm not sure how much longer that is going to last.
 I like her.
That will last forever.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

can i have some cheese shets?

Photo: 2 in one day! #toothlesswonder #enjoyingthesmallthings

I have been waiting for this moment since the day she was born.
My little toothless wonder.

I went to pick her up from camp last Friday and she came running up to me all closed mouthed yet smiley.

When she smiled, her little toothers were gone!
2 in one day!
Apparently, a little girl in camp has a mom for a dentist and coached Ellie through pulling them out.

Thank goodness!
(They were at that gross, really dangly, discolored stage.)

We talked about it and I high fived her.
But was slightly disappointed in her lack of speech impediment.

Then she got in the car and asked for some Cheez-its.
"Mom?  Can I have some cheezshets?"

I burst out laughing.
There it was! 
The funny sounding esses!

She laughed too and we spent the rest of the trip home finding funny things for her to say.

I love Jeshus!
Shelly shells sheshells by the sheshore!

7 might be my favorite age so far.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

what i know for sure: things i am loving right now

Well would you look at that.

2 days in a row.

I'm a rockstar.

Here's what I''m loving these days:
Ice cream dinners.
 Ellie's outfits.
They are beautiful disasters.

My husband.
He somehow looks better now than he ever ever has.
He is HOT.
Cool breezes through the bedroom window at night.
The fact that Downton Abbey season 3 is now on Amazon Prime.
No less than 12 books on my nightstand.
Love the pixie haired blond girl.
And I love that I have to save it to watch with E.
Girl is obsessed.
Sunny afternoons and flip flop tan lines.
Planning a patio.
Grilled food.
Fresh Fork.
This is our local CSA and so far I am VERY impressed.
Robin egg blue nail polish.
And the fact that Ellie can paint them for me.
Fantastic babysitters.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

what i know for sure: things that drive me nuts

It's time for another rousing edition of "What I Know for Sure."
This time it is about the current things that drive me bonkers.

Ok, let's get started, shall we?

Patio guys that don't show up when they say they are going to.

Treeless backyards.


Being in a group of people and everyone is buried in their phones.
I really hate that.


Unloading the dishwasher.

Hard popcorn kernels that you bite on wrong.

Sore joints.
(Seriously.  It's like I'm 80.)

Dirty kitchen floors.

Dirty bathroom floors.

Dirty everywhere floors.

Having to work in the summer.

Sunburned noggins.

Dogs that poop in my yard.

Having to get gas.
(I try really hard to time it for when Chris is in my car.)

Paying a small fortune for said gas.

Bedhead and a tenderheaded girl.
It's not a good combo.

Softball practice or games every night of the week.

So on and so forth.
Wow.  I sound crudmudginy.

Maybe tomorrow I will hop on here and do what I am loving right now.
Cause there's a whole lot of that right now too.

Can you imagine?
A post, 2 days in a row!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


We had grand plans,
Chris and I.
A whole week without a kid.
In our own house!
We were going to golf and watch movies.
Go out to breakfast and relax.

Ellie was staying at Linda and Wayne's.
She was so excited!
Like, rambled about it for months, excited.
She was going to go to Bible School and swim and see her cousins and eat ice cream and take scooter rides.

Then we left.
And the proverbial excrement hit the fan.

The first night she started texting me at 10:30.
"I woke up with a bad dream."
"I'm sad."
"I miss my home."
Then she face timed me at 12:15 with crocodile tears.
"I need you, Mommy."

(Knife to chest, twist, repeat.)
(Note to self, no ipod touch allowed in bed.)

We decided that night to see how the next day went and we would re-evaluate.
I didn't sleep well.
The day went great!
She loved Bible School and spent time with her cousins.
I got smiley face texts and all was well.
But then it was bedtime again.

Cue the crocodile tears.

 For the first time in her life, I was MAD at her.
Mad that she wasn't willing to stick it out.
Mad, cause I knew she could have SO MUCH fun if she would just let herself.
Mad that Linda had to deal with this irrational kid.
And if I am being perfectly honest, I was mad that I didn't get my week.
Cause I can be a baby about stuff like that.

So I had a choice.
Do I teach the "stick it out, you will be so proud you did" lesson,
or the
"I am your mama and I will always be there when you need me" lesson.

I chose the latter.

 Because she is 7.
And she was sad.
And for whatever reason, founded or not, she wanted to come home.

We left at 9 in the pm to meet Wayne half way, 2.5 hours.
At 2 in the am she was all snuggled in her own bed.
Happy as a lark. 
Wayne is our new hero.
Thank you Wayne.  We love you.

I vividly remember being homesick as a kid.
A lot.
I think what made it worse was knowing how utterly sad she felt.
Even though it was nuts.
Knowing she felt all alone in the world.
Even though there were no less than 25 people in a mile radius that love her to pieces.
Homesickness is for the birds.
The ugly, rotten, stinky birds.

She and Chris were talking yesterday and Chris was explaining what homesick meant.
She replied:
"I didn't even know you could get that.  It is awful!"

And when she talks to people about it, I realized she thinks she got sick.
She doesn't say "I was homesick."
She says "I had homesick."
There are so few of these little kid mistakes anymore, I hate to correct this one.

So now she is home.
And we have hit the summer routine.
And I think she has only occasionally wished she stuck it out.
But overall, I think we made the right decision.

So thank you Indiana family for trying REALLY hard to show her a good time.
We really appreciate it!
She just had a moment.  
A "cry for your parents til you drive me 5 hours in the middle of the night" moment.

Parenting is hard.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I love Mother's Day.
And hate it.
All at the same time.
Chris does a great job celebrating me.
He cooks me breakfast.
And they make homemade cards.
And I get time to myself.
And this year he promised to watch the Survivor finale with me.  All three hours. 
Whilst he scratches my back.
I feel extremely loved.
But I don't have a mama to celebrate.
Not one that's here.
That's hard.
And I can get mired down in it if I let myself.
I miss her so damn much.
Every single second of the world.
But then I remember that I have a bunch of mothers.
Women who have mothered me.
Women I have mothered with.
Women who aren't even mothers yet, but love my girl like another mother.
Women I don't see very often, but know I could call in an instant and they would be there.
Women from my past.
Women from my present.
Women I adore.
So, I would like to list them here.
In no particular order of importance.
Cause I love them all.
And I want them to know it.
Aunt Linda
Aunt Judy
and a whole slew of others
That's a bunch of women.
Who love me.
And my girl.
So even though it's not perfect, it's bearable.
Because I am not alone.
Happy Mother's Day to you and you and you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

stuff and things

I can't seem to get my stuff together lately.
Know what I mean?

My house is always dusty.
There are always clothes crumpled in the dryer.
There is always a trail of kitty food from the bag to his bowl.
I can't seem to remember to scoop the litter boxes.
Don't even get me started on Ellie's room.
It got so bad, she cleaned it herself, without being asked.
Let me repeat that.
She cleaned it herself, without being asked.

I think I am crazy.
Or lazy.

I am getting lots of walks in.
Homework is getting done.
I have read a book.
I am asleep most nights by 10 pm.
I have discovered two new recipes that are freaking delicious.

We have lots of fun travel coming up in the next few weeks.
Niagara Falls.
Home for the fair.


I may even go crazy and take pictures and post them on here.

Other than that, we are just working and playing and loving.
But definitely not cleaning.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

peas in a pod

These two.
Peas and carrots.

They love like sisters.
And fight like sisters.
They are...sisters.

They have matching stuffed animals and headbands.
And like the same books.
And are fiercely protective of one another.

 They spend a ton of time together.

And when they don't, Ellie misses her.
We hadn't seen Nat in a few days 
and were driving home from somewhere 
and out of the blue
Ellie says,
"I miss my sis."

Natalie is also an only child so it's a good situation.
And I really like her parents.
Like, a lot.
 Thank the sweet Lord.
Yvonne and I also spend a ton of time together.
With and without the girls.
We share a love of thrift stores and wine and complaining of how they never get recess at school.
Usually in the same evening.

I'm glad they have each other.
And I'm glad I made a new friend in the process.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

nearly 7

She's nearly 7.

 How on earth is that even possible?

She's all long legged and smelly footed.
And her hair has lost that softness of the very young.

6 has been great.

But has seen it's fair share of yuck:

A teacher that yells all the time.
A surgery.
The loss of a kitty.

But 6 has also brought:

A spot on sense of humor.  She is so freaking funny.
A love of headbands.  It's serious.
Taking responsibility for things.  Like homework and feeding the cat.
The reading of chapter books.  Magic Tree House is the favorite.

It was the year she learned to ride a bike.
And turn a cartwheel.
And snap.
And do a backwards somersault.

It was the year she became a cousin.

Her first and second teeth were lost.
With two more very very loose.

Friends became important at 6.  What they thought became even more important. 
She hates to hurt their feelings, and can sometimes get stepped on in the process.
This is hard to watch.  And we are working on it.

6 brought a new and fantastic sense of fashion.
Think comfort meets patterns meets layers.
I often ask her if she likes my outfit, and value her answer.
She will throw stuff at me that I would never have worn together, and it totally works.
Love her for that.

But most importantly, this was the year I saw her as a friend as well as a daughter.
The year I truly started enjoying her company.
But I won't tell her that until she is older.
I am her mother first.
She needs to know that above anything else.
But I can see it.
I can see our future together as she grows up.
And it looks fantastic.

We have one more week of 6.
I am going to soak in every single second.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

today in pictures

In no particular order...

Oh!  And I got BANGS.

Monday, March 11, 2013


We have had bonafide sunshine here in the Cleve.
I was beginning to think I may never see it again.
 It's my least favorite season.
Or my favorite season.
I can't tell which.
God Bless the Cadbury Cream Egg.
 We got good news.
No bump removal for a while.
Watching and waiting.
Ellie was so disappointed.
 We explored a new bridge.
Ellie took her bike and biked some.
I "ran."
I have another half marathon in June.
What in cadbury cream egg was I thinking??
 Ellie has decided to skip 7 and 8 altogether and look 9.
At least in this outfit.
Please pardon her messy hair.
She is allergic to brushing it.
She started an after school art program.
She loves it.
Here we have the Mona Lisa.
And an armadillo.
 And a wolf.
It's not awful that I go to the grocery whilst she's there.
It's a win/win really.
So that's about it.
Not much excitement happening around these parts.
Unless you want to talk blistered butts to do mollescum treatment?
Or that fact that my car was so filthy that I didn't even want to get in it?
We (and by we, I mean Chris) cleaned it out for me this weekend.
Um, that's it.
That's all I've got.
Happy Monday night!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

did you know?

Did you know:
That mozzarella cheese and grapefruit are besties?
 Photo: Fresh mozzarella on grapefruit. Broiled til melty. Plain ones have brown sugar. Weird or genius?
Did you know:
That my best friend turned 36 last week?
 Photo: Chris is 36 today. Happy birthday babe.
Did you know:
That mom's like oreo's for after school snacks too?
 Photo: After school snack for mom.
Did you know:
That little girl Sperry's are even cuter than big girl Sperry's?
 Photo: Ellie's first Sperrys. It's a big day.
Did you know:
That wellness programs at work which provide fresh fruit can be lifesavers to those of us that forget lunch?
 Photo: On days I forget my lunch, I am especially thankful for our wellness program at work, which provides fresh fruit.
Did you know:
That coming across something your mother wrote before she died will cause 5:45am sobbing at the dining room table?
Photo: For Anson R Thompson. Hope you can read it.
Did you know:
A winter hike in the woods is just about the best thing ever?
Photo: 50 degrees = a hike in the woods.
Did you know:
I love this man?
Photo: Date night. Birthday celebrating, no kids allowed. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

valentines day 2013

It's not been great.
Today we found out Ellie has Mollescum Contagiosum.
Which isn't serious.
It's just really hard to get rid of.
It's a virus that is wart like in appearance which is very contagious to your own person.
It's contageous to others too, but mostly to oneself.
Treatment could last upwards of a year.
I also had a cavity filled and found out Ellie has her first cavity.
Yay again.
Is it summer yet?
Let's focus on the positive, shall we?
I get to wake up to this girl every day.
And I sneak coffee dates with this guy as often as possible.
 And he is always willing to cuddle up when I request it.
I am indeed a lucky girl.
Who cares about warts and cavaties??
In other news, Ellie has started gymnastics and is loving it.
It is a serious place.
The first 20 minutes is all conditioning.
Serious Business.
 I saw a teeny tiny little thing do a front flip arial thingy last Tuesday and about had a flipping heart attack.
She couldn't have been older than 5.
We will stick to cartwheels.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


So apparently I can't work and blog at the same time.
It's impossible.
Ok.  Not really, but sitting down at another computer after being at a computer all day really is about the last thing I want to do.
And I only have, like, 4 hours between school pick up and bedtime to:
do homework
cook dinner (more on that in a minute)
tidy up
bath time
actually play with her
read books for school
Don't even get me started on art and gymnastics nights.
The only reason it is happening now is because we have a snow day and I have taken the day to stay home with her.
And loving every single second.
It is 6 degrees right now.
There.  Am I forgiven for not blogging?
Ok.  Good.
Let's move on.
I have been lately. 
Really good stuff.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Arugula Salad Recipe
Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers Recipe
Wok-Seared Chicken Tenders with Asparagus & Pistachios Recipe
I don't know who has jumped into my body and started meal planning and cooking, but I really like her.
She is the bomb diggidty.
I'm doing that too.
I signed up for my second half marathon.
I really don't know what I was thinking.
Except that maybe I need to move my body more, and this will guarantee that.
Or maybe it is the fact that it is in Canada and ends at a winery?
You be the judge.
I am not doing that very much.
And that makes me sad.
So there.
You are mostly caught up.
And where did this tiny little thing go?
I miss her.