The raw truth after loss

Family

Technically, it’s just under six years since this photo was taken. Steve and I will be married for six years on Friday (6 more days) and I really miss these two people.

Let me explain briefly.

Exactly six months after our wedding, tragedy struck and took Steve’s 28-year-old younger brother suddenly. It was a stroke and immediate death according to the coroner’s office.

But all I remember is the conversation Mark and I had about two months before this picture. And how for the first time since we started dating, I felt I had a little brother as he finally let down his smart ass armor and shared a part of his heart. That conversation is forever emblazoned in my mind much like the hope I had for our marriage the day this photo was taken.

As we approach our six-year anniversary I have a lot to be grateful for. A loving home, two beautiful and healthy kids, a comfortable living and family, friends and neighbors you dream about. To the outside, we have it all. And it’s never lost on me how insanely lucky we are. I am so grateful for my life, my family, and my health.

And yet…

The Big One: How to Throw a Shark-Themed Birthday Party

Family, Fun

I’m that Pinterest mom. I spend months scouring the inter webs for a good theme and pin all the ideas.

Then, I spend each weekend leading up to the party tackling one or two crafts and spending way too much on Amazon Prime.

The result? I get a much needed creative release and my kid’s parties turn out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. I love doing this even though I realize it’s a bit over the top at times.

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Family

On the eve of my son’s first birthday, as I watch him smirk and squeal and attempt to walk although not yet without the aid of that fancy Fisher-Price accessory, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of awe and pure freaking love.

He’s perfect and I’m so blessed to be his momma.

When we learned our second was going to be a boy, there were equal parts cheer and sadness. I have a younger sister so I know firsthand the lifelong bond sisterhood brings. My husband had two brothers so the bros were in full swing. (My MIL is a bad ass.) With one of each, would they love each other or fight incessantly?

Kids and Concrete: Gettin’ Crafty

Family, Finds, Fun

We do our best to keep our kids active and entertained, which usually includes lots of book reading, doll playing and — gulp — PJ Masks on the iPad. I’m sorry. There’s only so much Disney Junior I can take.

Thankfully we live in a neighborhood with a ton of kids Brooke’s age and they all play together as well as any group of toddlers can be expected to play together. For Brooke’s birthday, she got a “Stepping Stone kit like this one that turned out to be

Go the f*ck to sleep

Family

“Have kids,” they say. “They’re amazing,” they say. What they also tell you that’s dang true is that your kids will never let you figure them out. Just when you think you’re #winning in the parenting department, they’ll throw another curve ball.

Last week, I was gone for a 3-day business trip and several people kindly asked me how I was doing “being away from the baby” and toddler, and I’m sure my answer shocked them.