Loving That Body


“I don’t want to wear shorts to school, my legs look fat and ugly.”

“I’m not going to finish my sandwich, I don’t want to get fat.”


There are a ton of things about parenting my kids that scare me half to death. If it’s possible to worry about it, then I will. But few things strike honest-to-God fear in my heart – most worries I can dismiss as unlikely to very unlikely and not those fears keep me up at night.

But the thought of my either of my kids developing an eating disorders?

That fear paralyzes me.

I remember when Scorch was little – around 5- he didn’t want to wear a big puffy jacket because it made him look fat. Bean didn’t want to wear anything that showed her legs when school started this year because they looked “fat and ugly.” Scorch joked today about not wanting to finish in lunch because he doesn’t want to get fat.

Statements like that make me panic.


The Hubs and I work out daily (well…5-6 days a week). We try to make healthy food choices, but we don’t deny ourselves much (hence, the working out). We talk about being healthy and strong and the words “diet” and “fat” don’t ever, ever cross our mouths. We don’t body shame anyone and, even when it’s just the two of us, never remark on people’s physical health. We talk to the kids about how we look how God wants us to and how it’s up to us to keep our bodies strong and healthy. I have a belly (thanks PCOS!) and the kids notice that and ask why. So we talk about how my body performed miracles and kept them safe for 9 months and now, this is how it is and how grateful I am that I can run, lift weights and hike with them.

Yet, they still make comments about being fat or their physical appearance.

When they do I want to shake them silly. They are both tiny, skinny kids without a spare ounce on them. Do I tell them that? Do I tell him how awesome their bodies are? Do we list all the great things their bodies can do no matter what they think they look like?  I do all of those things while shrieking on the inside, wondering why in the hell my 9 and 7 year old are thinking like this.

I don’t know who to blame- kids at school? TV? radio? friends? Do I need to call a therapist? Will saying all the right things sink in? Do I need to model better behavior? I really don’t have a clue.

So today, I sit here and I fret. I worry and I wrestle with my thoughts and pray that is one worry that never turns into reality.



September continued its trend of not being very kind when I got sick last week. A cold quickly turned into a sinus infection that just as quickly turned into pink eye.  I woke up a week ago with tired eyes, which wasn’t surprising since I worked until 1:30 am the night before. When I went into the bathroom around noon and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror I was slightly horrified at how red and puffy my eye was looking. I prayed that a few allergy eye drops would fix things but by the time I picked the kids up from school at 3, the Bean told me that looking at my eye made her feel like she wanted to throw up.

The rest of the night went downhill from there.

A trip to the walk-in clinic got me the meds I needed later that night and 4 days later I was finally feeling human. Just in time too because my baby cousin got married last weekend and we had a LOT of celebrating to do (which we did spectacularly, I may add).  Seriously guys- the wedding was amazing and I couldn’t be happier for these crazy kids.

Photo by K&T’s wedding planner – gorgeous!

My cousin and her husband have been together for 15 years – since they were in 8th grade. That’s mind boggling to me, especially since the kid I dated in 8th grade is, I believe, in jail. The Hubs helped to arrest him years ago (you can’t make this up, I swear). Anyhow, K&T are just as in love now as they’ve ever been and it was wonderful to be in their company as they finally made what we’ve known for years official.

Here’s hoping this past weekend ushered in some good mojo and September starts being the amazing beast we know she can be.


Smacked Down


The kiddos started school on Tuesday and we spent all weekend sucking up every ray of sunshine and free time that we could. We went to the pool, kayaked on the lake, had sleepovers and celebrated with both friends and family. In short, it was an amazing weekend. The transition back to school went as smoothly as possible (4th and 2nd grade- how is that possible?!) and the kids are as happy as they can be when back in the classroom. I spent the first day of school catching up with friends and telling everyone how awesome our summer was.

I should have known I’d get smacked down sooner or later.

Yesterday I went to work and started to feel sick as the day went on. Achy and miserable, I finally left the office at 3:30 to grab the kids and come home. My goal was to get the kids from school, come home, take some medicine, whip up some meatballs (super easy- let me know if you want the recipe), boil some pasta, get the Hubs and Scorch to baseball practice and let the Bean drown herself in Netflix while I went to bed. If I played all my cards right, I would be in bed by 5:45.

Instead, I got home and asked Scorch to let the dog out. When doing so, he noticed that our umbrella hooked up to our patio table was tipped over from some wild winds we had earlier in the day. When I went to right the umbrella, the whole glass table top shattered around me. The kids came running outside – with me screeching at them to STOP – to see what happened. After taking in the carnage, the Bean noticed that my wrist was bleeding. In my shock, I didn’t realize the glass cut my wrist, side of my other hand and the top of my feet. They kept asking me if I was Ok, and I kept telling them I didn’t know. I was still holding the damn umbrella with glass everywhere, so I was too concerned about getting the umbrella moved and ensuring no one stepped in glass to pay too much attention to what was happening with me.

Bean started to cry and Scorch kept asking me over and over and over if I had to go to the hospital. I finally got the umbrella down safely and ran to the sink to wash the blood away, with the kids at my feet. Thankfully the cut wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed, so I slapped a band-aid on it and went out to see how the hell the clean up the half shattered table.

Not this years table. This was the table that shattered two years ago in a wind storm. This year, imagine the table upright with half the glass on the ground and half the glass in the table.

Not this years table. This was the table that shattered two years ago in a wind storm. This year, imagine the table upright with half the glass on the ground and half the glass in the table.

I’ll spare you the details, but an hour later, our trusty shop vac did its job and the deck was clear of any pieces of glass. I honestly debated waiting and letting the Hubs handle it, but I couldn’t do it. It would have made me crazy. Lucky man arrived home just as I was bagging up the last of the glass.

Poor Scorch had two bowls of cereal for dinner but we did mange to get him off to practice on time. With the boys gone, I made Beaner dinner and laid on the couch while she took her bath. Finally, I thought- I’d get her out, give her the tablet and let her watch Netflix while I went to bed. Imagine how pleased I was when I discovered that the wind knocked out out TV, phone and internet too.  She and I ended up having a lovely evening, but no one got to bed before 9, I still feel like death warmed over and we’re in the market for a new patio table again for the second time in two years. Preferably one that isn’t glass topped.

Next time anyone hears me rhapsodizing about how great our summer was, slap me.

So Not Ready


Dear September,

Well, you’re finally here. I wish I could tell you that I am happy to see you, but really- I’m not. It’s not you, I swear. In my neck of the woods you’re absolutely gorgeous, full of warm days, cool nights, slowly changing leaves and misty mornings.


It’s more that when you arrive, summer is over. And we have had an *amazing* summer.  We went to NC for a week and we did some camping. I didn’t even write about our trip to New Jersey, but that was another picture perfect vacation filled with family, the beach, the boardwalk and lots and lots of ice cream. We rode the waves and the rides. We went to bed late and slept in and just relaxed. It was lovely!


When we were home, the summer was full of baseball and swimming pools and friends. The kids went to camp almost every day and came home coated in sunscreen, sweat and, more often than not, glitter from various projects.  We threw schedules out the window and played family baseball games in the yard long past bed time. The Bean had her very first sleepover and Scorch got to spend time with his very best friends. We even got to hang out with a baby tortoise.


And if that wasn’t enough, we decided to take a last minute trip up to Niagara Falls this past weekend. 9 and 7 are just about the perfect travel ages and this trip was amazing from start to finish. No one cried, not one fought, we all slept well in the hotel AND we got to see extended family. And the Falls? They were Mother Nature in all her glory.


So you see, September, I’m just not ready to let all this go yet. I’m not ready for the stress of a new school year, for colder weather or for schedules and early mornings. I love that my kids smell like sunshine and chlorine and that they have all the time in the world to hunt for racoon prints in the dry creek bed. I know 4th and 2nd grade are going to be amazing and that soon enough we’ll be in a good routine but for right now, I’m going to sit here and be so thankful that we had a summer amazing enough to mourn.




14 Years Later


When I was in my mid-teens I discovered romance novels. Not the bodice-rippers, but the sweet novels where the heroine is a goodhearted mess and the hero is hunky and sensitive and loves to talk about his feelings. My favorite was A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux about a woman that literally prays for a knight to come save her and one does from 200 years in the past. A knight, folks. A real, chivalrous knight who wanted to wipe away tears, hold his woman all night long and cook for her.

Is it any wonder I was so picky about the men I dated?


The Hubs and I got married a month after I turned 23. He was 25 and we thought we knew it all. We had lived together for two years outside of Washington, DC and were successful in managing stressful jobs, a crazy high rent payment and our relationship. Marriage was the logical next step and we both knew we wanted to be with each other so there was no point in waiting.

14 years later, I have zero regrets about marrying the Hubs. Not a one. Saying “I do” was the best decision I have ever made.


The funny thing is the Hubs has never once cooked me a meal and we both hate to cuddle. It’s hot and uncomfortable and I think those couples that are always curled up like puppies together are too polite to tell each other that they can no longer feel half their body. As for talking about his feelings, no. Just no. He is, however, chivalrous and kind and funny and smart and dedicated to our family.

I find it hard to write about our anniversary or our marriage without feeling like I’m blowing sunshine (we are *so* in love and everything is perfect!!) or knocking what we have (this is hard work and we work at it every day damn, some more successfully than others!) when both things are true at the same time.

I do love the Hubs madly and I hope I always will. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t day that I don’t think about smothering him with a pillow. We deal with budgets and small town politics and work stress. We fight about decisions that need to be made and if we actually told the other person things we thought we did. There are days we just stay in separate corners of the house because just looking at each other sets our teeth on edge.

But we still hold hands, go on dates and go to bed early while falling asleep late. We send each other little messages during the day to let the other person know we’re thinking about them. The Hubs is still the first person I can’t wait to share news with. He’s the guy I know inside and out and one that always makes me laugh, even if I am avoiding him. He’s the man who knows my whole history for the past 17 years and who I pledged to love and honor in front of God, family and friends 14 years ago today.  He’s not anything close to a romance novel hero, but he’s the man I’m so glad to be writing my life story with.

Here’s to many, many more anniversaries!

Nailed It!


Scorch has nails like a pregnant woman- they grow long very quickly.  Which means I cut them often (side note: at what age do kids start to cut their own nails?).  While I was cutting them, Scorch was joking that he wanted to keep all the clippings and save them so he could pass them along to his son.

I told him that if he saved all his clipping I could promise him that he would never, ever get married and sire that son.

He thought about that for a minute and then yelled for the Bean. “If you weren’t related to me and we were dating and you found out that I had all my nail clippings from the time I was 9, would you immediately dump me?”

She paused for a second and shot back, “Nope, I’d find you interesting as long as you don’t mind that I kept all the hair that fell out of my head since I was 7.”

You guys, if my kids end up as childless unmarried hoarders, we’ll be able to trace it back to this conversation.

Gone Campin’


We spent this past weekend at my favorite place taking a very abbreviated camping vacation. Being an adult sucks when you have limited vacation days, but we made the most of it. For the first time in years the weather was absolutely amazing which meant lots and lots of beach time.


In my 37 years, we’ve gone camping at this campground with this group of people (plus or minus a family or four) for roughly 32 of them. Each and every year was wonderful. We had friends we only saw a few times a year that would come camping with us and we’d run tame all over the camp ground with our bikes. It was everything a vacation should be with no electronics or distractions. Just card games, games of Spoons, bikes, hikes and eating. So. much. good. food.

We took Scorch camping for the first time when he was 2 months old and we’ve gone every year since – although we did only go for 1 day the summer Bean was born since she was only 2 weeks old and I’m not completely crazy. Camping with kids is a lot of work but there are so many people helping so the fun outweighs the work 9 times out of 10.

Except for when it was time to shower.

At the camp ground, there are communal bathrooms and 2 showers in the woman’s room, 2 in the men’s and two family showers. You have to stand there in your flip flops (DO NOT go barefoot- ever) and constantly press the water on as it doesn’t stay on by itself. The water comes out in a sharp spray and is either cold or hot- there really isn’t a middle ground. When the kids were itty bitty we’d find other ways to bathe them, but once they were mobile toddlers, covered in sunscreen, bug spray, dirt and sand it was shower time.

You guys, showering kids in this shower was like wrestling a greased pig. The kids were pissed, crying and slippery as hell. It was, at minimum, a 2 person job although 3 adults worked best (two to wash them and one to dry them and calm them down). You’d often end up sweating and wet when you were done, hoping that the whole camp ground didn’t think you were torturing your kids.

The passage of time hit me like a ton of bricks this past weekend after I showered my kids (9 and 7) and my niece Lala (4) with no fuss. I didn’t have to fight anyone, I didn’t have to wrestle them and no one cried. They took their showers, dried themselves off, got dressed and hopped right back on their bikes.

Where did our babies go??


Our nightly camp fire.

The Hubs and I came back on Monday night (again: being an adult stinks) but the kids had the privilege of staying with all the extended family for a few more day.  This makes me happy for so many reasons. I firmly believe the gift of friends and family is the best gift we could give our kids- and time with them without us even more so they can form their own connections. While we’re camping, the kids also get their first real taste of freedom when the answer is always yes. Yes, you can ride your bike. Yes, you can walk to the park. Yes, you can play at the ball field. Yes, you can make new friends. Yes, you can have s’mores every night. Yes, you can be independent and not always within eye sight because there is pack of 7 of you and cars can’t drive faster then 5 mph.

The kiddos will come home tomorrow covered in bug bites with hair streaked blond from spending 12+ hours per day in the sun. Our kids are lucky because we travel a lot with them and they’ve seen some amazing places, but it make my heart so happy that that their favorite place on earth too.




Thirty-seven? How is that even possible? Am I the only one who gets taken by surprise every time they look in the mirror, expecting to see their 17 year old self to be looking back? 17 year old me didn’t have these under-eye circles and the random gray hairs though…

36 was a wonderful year. I made a vow that I would do things that scare me last year and I did. I did it in small ways by using my voice more and speaking up even when it would have been easier to go with the flow. I did it a large way by taking a part time job that took me out of my comfort zone and put some constraints on mine and the Hubs schedule, but has ended up being amazing. The Hubs and I did it while making some decisions for our family on some big topics like having more kids (no) and moving (one day).

I also held some reptiles, including Boo.

It's an anaconda, nbd.

It’s an anaconda, nbd.

So, I’m now 37. Outside of being slightly boggled by this fact, I plan on enjoying the hell out of this year. My goal this year is to find my balance. This past year, while awesome, veered more towards the crazy than I would have liked. Things like date nights and work outs took a back seat to kid’s practices and work which is not good for a million different reason and I’m old enough to know better. So here’s to saying a no a bit more and being mindful of what’s really important. Here’s to family and friends and more love than any one person can handle.

Here’s to 37.



Oh my Bean, how can you be 7? When I look at you, 95% of the time I still see my baby. The other 5%? That’s when I see the hints of the girl you’re turning into. You’re coltish with these legs that don’t end and these long, spindly arms. You have this weird physical presence that makes you seem big when you’re really a wisp of a thing. If you weigh 45 pounds, I’ll be shocked.


You, my darling, a contradiction and a mystery to me. At home, you are loud and brash and opinionated. You rule with an iron fist and are quick, witty and so freaking fun. But away from home, you embarrass easy and are as quiet as a mouse. People tell me how sweet and shy and reserved you are and I laugh and laugh and laugh. If only they knew, baby girl.

Because you’re such a contradiction, I worry I’ll break you. You and I lock horns and neither one of us lets go and that scares me so much. I don’t want to break you – you are a glorious creature. I just don’t want to be broken by you either. It’s a fine line we’re going to walk and I hope I manage it with grace and with my sanity intact when it’s over. Because as astounding and amazing as you are now, you’re going to be 100x more so as you grow. It’s my privilege to get to witness that.

Family Portraits (75)

So as you blow out your candles for this, your seventh birthday, this is what I wish for you this year:
> I wish you to keep your amazing sense of self. You know your mind, child, and you have since the moment of your birth. That’s a rare gift- don’t lose it.
> I wish that you learn how to bend a little. I don’t want what makes you, you to be broken, but learning to bend a bit will serve you in the long run.
> I wish that everyone can see what an amazing, funny, sweet, quick witted, whip smart kid you are. I hope you learn to be your true self around more people because those people will be so lucky when you do.
> I wish you the gift of friendship. Watching little girls navigate friendship is a very cool thing and I hope I’ve given you the role models you need to find your tribe as you grow.
> I wish you the knowledge that you’re secure in our love. Always. Forever. There is nothing you can do that would make us not love you. We may be mean and we may get mad- but we still love you through it all.
> I wish that you can see how amazing you are. I hope you always know that your awesome even when you’re in 7th grade (which is, IMO, the worst time in any person’s life) and you hate your hair and your parents and your clothes and life is just a mess- I hope you still hold that kernel of truth that tells you that you don’t have to change who you are for anyone. Because you’re the best.

Happiest of birthdays, my sweet girl. You are my sunshine and I’m so very lucky to be your mom.

All my love,


Start of Summer


So…hey, been a while. Life got nuts. Like more nuts then usual. We had the end of school- both kids passed and I got all teary on the last day of school. I’ll let you decide if they were tears of joy or terror for the summer ahead. I cannot believe I have a 4th grader and a 2nd grader now!  The day after school ended, Little League ended with a bang when Scorch’s team won the championship game. There wasn’t even time to celebrate because we left the next day for the Outer Banks in NC.


Scorch, Bean and Lala

And that is when summer really started.


It was the perfect vacation. The hardest decisions were deciding whether we went to the beach first or then then pool or vice versa, and what we wanted to drink each night around the pool (don’t judge- deciding between margaritas and Cape Codders isn’t for sissies).  The weather was gorgeous 85% of the time and when it did storm it was a night and the lightening was spectacular.  My biggest complaint about this vacation is that it is over.

The waves were so big, the kids couldn't go in far even if they wanted.

The waves were so big, the kids couldn’t go in far even if they wanted.

I read 6 books, spent time with my extended family and vegged on the beach for hours a day. That’s my definition of heaven.


And now we’re back to reality. Camps, more baseball, work and all the craziness that comes with real life. But at least it’s summer time- that makes it all OK.

3rd year in a row we've found a heart shaped shell on the last day of vacation.

3rd year in a row we’ve found a heart shaped shell on the last day of vacation.

Happy Summer!