Posted in Elliott, Family

Elliott in Kindergarten

If we have done anything right, the only remarkable thing you will be wearing to school on this first day of kindergarten is your confidence. Even though I may have thoroughly planned your first day outfit, and carefully selected a suitable backpack it’ll only be these years of character building that will matter when you walk through your schools double doors.

As you embark on this journey that will carry you through your more impressionable years I will be cheering you on to be your best – most authentic – self.

Never trade in your individuality for some carbon copy of your peers.

Never feel the desire to dull your inner sparkle that is after all our favorite part about you.

Never lose your sense of curiosity and continue to ask questions to gain better understanding.

I encourage you to share your creativity with your peers! I’ve witnessed first hand the magnitude of your imagination and know your talents will be endless.

Bravery is your most cherished attribute, and I know undoubtedly that you will persist outside of your introverted comfort zone, because you are also amazingly adventures despite those limitations.

You are a social butterfly, who has never shyed away from creating new friendships, be bold and befriend even the under dogs.

Smile and face each of those tougher days with grace and persistence, for they don’t last long.

You are a fascinating human! And we are proud of you for waking each morning with a positive outlook on life and rising to the challenge of facing another day. Everything else you accomplish is simply a bonus!

I vow to take heed to your struggles, and be sensitive to your needs this first year you adapt to this new life.

I vow to love you and protect you on this journey.

I vow to let go of my need to be in control and allow this village to help guide and protect you.

I vow to never underestimate how precious your mind is, and to fill it with positive thoughts and encouragement especially in these days that you are feeling vulnerable.

You are full of greatness!

You are full of potential!

You have incredible determination!

You are (mostly) equipped with the tools to do this,

You will do this!!

You are kindness, and gentleness, and intention.

You are you, and that is perfect!

I am going to miss you! But I am more proud of you than you will ever know, and that fills my heart with excitement these first days!

Go now, with my heart, and relish in all the joy and learning your school days have to offer. You will do great things!

I love you!!



Posted in Family, Oliver

Ollie a preschooler!

This bright and Witty charmer is off on his first day of preschool. I will look forward to my brief half days alone, that is, as long as I don’t get phone calls saying he is swinging from the ceiling or giving classmates swirlies.

You all laugh, but I truly wouldn’t put it past him.

For real though, here are all the reasons I know he won’t even flinch with this transition:

1. He’ll most definitely be the class clown

2. He demands attention from the second he enters a room.

3. He has an infectious laugh

4. He is actually pretty brilliant already

5. He is rather thoughtful

6. He is a charmer

7. He is imaginative

8. He loves structured activities

9. He is a story teller.


Or I could be getting those daily phone calls that he has repainted the walls with glue, or peed on a classmate.

At least he has that infectious smile to get us all through!!

The very best to you for these preschool days, our little Ollie-pop!

Tight squeeze!!!


Posted in Family, Marriage

Seven years! 

Seven years married.

11 years of togetherness.

Three addresses.

Two pups.

Two babes.

Countless loss.

Many blessings.

Seven whole years!!

Just like all of the material things we’ve collected over the years, so too has our marriage collected baggage.

The good, the bad, the ugly.



The times we thought about leaving, but didn’t.

Seven years of waking up with a (mostly) greatful heart.

Seven years of occasional nights in separate beds.

Arguments that settled easily.
Arguments that temporarily broke us.

Marriage is freakin’ tough!

But we overcame adversity.

We ignored temptations.

In a world where we obsess over divorce rates and trading up for bigger, better, brighter. We live obliviously in our own humble togetherness.

I’m in love with us!

In our perfectly imperfect.



Consciously coupled.

Where struggles make us stronger, And heartbreak makes us fight harder.

Seven trying years!

Seven happy years!!

You are my better half!

I don’t mean that in the sarcastic tone of modern day translation… but in the way it was first written by the Roman poet, Horace, who wrote that to be a better half meant that you are more than one half of me. – “Half of my soul”

Thank you for always understanding the intention of our vows.

Thank you for being my reason to change, grow, and adapt.

Thank you for always understanding that marriage is hard and diving into the tough stuff head first instead of running away.

I’m thankful that seven years ago the aisle had you at the end!

I’m glad I never stopped walking toward you since then!

Happy Anniversary to half of my Soul!


Posted in Family, Infertility, Mental Health

It takes 2… um… wait!

If you’ve been following our journey closely you’re probably wondering where we are at. I’ve been approached by a number of you to check in – and well – this is as good a place as any to lay it all out there.

2 years trying to conceive.

8 Fertility Cycles.

2 chemical pregnancies.

1 blighted Ovum.

1 surgery.

4 broken hearts… over-and-over.

And that is all just wishing and waiting for baby número trois.

We don’t know if this is even in the cards for us, but alas, we have been fighting the good fight all this time now.

Just the other day, Elliott informed me that he was going to take me out and buy me new medicine that will put a baby in my belly. Well, his wish may just come true – someday soon.

As it stands now, we are headed into the big wide world of Science for this belly bean.

We will both be undergoing a series of testing this month – fertility, motility, genetic compatibility, as well as a specialized ultrasound diagnostic for me.

Then, if all is well we will be moving forward with IUI and IVF consecutively.

So with a little love, a little faith, and a little science maybe this will be our new beginning!

Tight squeeze


Posted in How Tos, Recipes

Tropic Trifle

Tropic like its hot, because I guarantee you are going to be falling over this delicious trifle. So great, in fact, that I just had to make this my inaugural food post. Also this recipe takes a few quick spins of the mixer, and voila your done… in minutes!!

Trifles are almost always my go-to potluck contribution, because I can throw it together the night before – which is my #1 potluck rule –  and grab it and go when your running out the door, WHICH MEANS… more ‘hair did’, ‘make-up did’ doing. I have been making so many trifles in the past few years, that boredom set in and I have been getting adventurous with my ingredients, this one has taken the cake! – pun intended.

Ok so your going to need to take a quick hop-skip-and a jump to the grocery store – well unless you have toddlers in tow, then its all like; talking to every stranger, snacking on a cracker box in the aisle, “I lost my blankie”, and “Stay with mommy I am in a hurry” 65478300 times. In this case, I am sorry! I feel you! Maybe you can send hubby???

Shopping List;

1 pkg. Dr. Oetker chocolate mousse

1 cup of milk

1 tub of Cool Whip (regular or light will work)

2 pkgs of 6 mini angel food cakes (that’s 12 total – math geek right here)

1 pkg of coconut flakes

1 pkg of chocolate chips

1 pineapple (or 1 can of pineapple bits)

You will also want to make a long term investment in a trifle bowl like this one, because when you discover how easy this is it will be your go-to too.


Step 1: Mix the Dr. Oetker Mousse as directed on the pkg (adding your cup of milk, and mixing until thickened)

Step 2: Chop your angel food cakes into bite sized pieces

Step 3: Cut up your pineapple, putting 1/3 into the blender to create a liquid consistency, the other 2/3rds will be chopped into tidbits. If you opted for the canned pineapple – even easier- simply strain the pineapple over a bowl so that you separate the tidbits from the juice (both will be used).

Step 4: lay out a layer of angel food pieces to cover the bottom of the bowl.

Step 5: Drizzle 1/3 of the pineapple juice to the bottom layer, throw in 1/4 of the pineapple bits, a handful of coconut, and a handful of chocolate chips.

Step 5; Spread on a later of chocolate mousse

Step 6: Spread on a layer of cool whip

Step 7: REPEAT steps 4-6 to create a total of 3 layers.

Step 8: Top with the last 1/4 of your pineapple bits, sprinkle coconut and chocolate chips until your pleased with the presentation.

Step 9: Refrigerate overnight this way the angel food cake has the opportunity to soak in all the delicious flavors.

Also, like the cool kids do, you may present to guests with the leafy pineapple top set atop your trifle to make it all fancy-like. I’ve done it, and it made a lasting impression! 

Give it a try… or don’t. It’s totally up to you! But if you do, you will be ‘pining’ over it for years to come- no apologies, the pineapple puns are endless.


Tight Squeeze



Posted in Elliott, Family

Elliott is 4 ever young!

Elliott is turning 4.


A two year tumultuous infertility journey has somehow rapidly shifted gears into a four year adventure that has led us here.

Now nearly 4 – our boy – is his own person blossoming with his own thoughts, beliefs, and a timid but certain voice.

He’s still a thumb sucker – there is certainly no denying that – but regardless, somewhere in the last year, he has morphed into a mini man.

Elliott has spent the last nine months learning and growing expansively in a local Preschool program. At the time of enrollment, he was completely uninterested in anything scholastic. We knew he needed a program like this to get him ‘school ready’ and the exposure to the whole ‘small fish in a big pond’ phenomenon, as well as the socialization with peers he really needed.

Spending the last nine months facilitating this transition has been joyously rewarding. He still has difficulty recalling the daily events to report about it at the dinner table, but hearing him tell me about the friends (most of whom still remain nameless) he played with all day is just enough to ignite the heartstrings. Pre-preschool he was social – yet shy, intelligent – but hesitant to try, curious – but cautious, so our in home childcare situation was really holding him back from experiencing life the way its intended. He needed that push so-to-speak to force him to take responsibility in this integral learning phase. And so, this journey began. He has mastered his color identification, he can identify and mostly spell and write his name, he struggles with the alphabet but there is marked improvement. He plays blocks, and does crafts, and is friendly with the kids in his class. Just the other day, we were making a quick errand run through Walmart, and as I thoughtlessly rushed my son down the aisles, he was calling after me “Mom… mommy!” When I finally caught wind of this and turned to see, he was pointing out a school friend, the pair of them so excited to find a friend in-the-wild, neither of them able to recall each others names. It was exciting none-the-less, and neither of them wanted anything more than to remind their mothers that they know people outside of their family dynamic. It was just the sweetest thing to witness, and in that moment I kneelt to the floor and held my nearly-four-year-old  in a deep embrace and told him how proud  I was that he was building friendships with these kids.

His teaching/learning journey has always been a struggle; he was slow to talk, hesitant to walk, he resists sitting in quiet study <Where he shines is on the physical experiences of life hands-on, tactile play, and the arts, and sports.> Do I wish he could just learn with ease? Sure! Would I change a single thing about him? Absolutely not!

Elliott loves bumble bee (as in the yellow Camaro that transforms into a robot), he is obsessed with everything superhero, and we get a daily dose of hero dramatics every single day (aren’t we lucky!). He is into planes, and trains, and automobiles, and now that he has been provided with a kid-leveled bookshelf you can find him curled up with a book just about anywhere. His love for hockey has remained unchallenged, though, he has expanded his love to pretty much all sports and remains active outside (or in) day-in and day-out.

Elliott doesn’t want to turn 4.

He has resolved to stay 3 because it’s his favorite number, or so he says.

I can’t blame him, I am not so fond of him turning 4 either, it’s one of those difficult transitional ages, he will suddenly be swept into the responsibility of the educational system, and miss out on all the 1:1 time he got with family. That’s a tough transition for any age.

At home, this past year he has been such an admirable big brother. He is thoughtful and  encouraging with every interaction he has with Oliver. His only fault is that he worries to much about his reckless counterpart. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better mentor as a big brother. He is everything we wanted and more. Some mornings the kids wake on their own, and without even coming in to wake us, they get straight to business together cooking a breakfast on their little wooden kitchen set all the while chatting together like old comrades. It’s just the bees knees!

If there is anything we are most excited about in this past year, as far as milestones go, its that Elliott is a swimmer now. There was no lack of effort on his part, he hustled hard. It isn’t so much that he succeeded that we are so excited, although that is certainly a bonus, but that he worked so tirelessly to achieve it. He fought about as hard as his little body could fight to get here, and earned the reward to swim 6-10 feet without a life jacket because he developed that skill from the ground up.

If you were to ask Elliott now what he thinks of himself he would tell you that he is Smart, and brave, and nice. These are how he chooses to define himself at this ripe old age of 4, and I am one proud mama, that those are the only qualities that matter.


Tight Squeeze!






Posted in Family, Marriage

A letter to my Husband

This one is for you, Shane.

While we ride the speedboat of life through these sometimes turbulent lakes and those fuzzy shorelines – we call our lives –  whizz by, I’ve been watching you.

I see you! I haven’t forgotten the slower journeys we used to take together. Quieter ones – on sailboats and canoes – with less ‘noise’ distracting us from really hearing, knowing, and feeling each other.

I think about that- often.

And I’m sure that you do too.

We aren’t the only ones on that boat anymore, and sometimes – while you’re busy guiding the watercraft in the right direction – I’m standing lookout for hazards, or donning life jackets and applying the sunscreen. Our minds always wandering elsewhere to maintain safety and order aboard. 

But our love always remains the same – The anchor of it all.

I wanted you to know that I’m still here – as true as I’ve ever been – that carefree girl that climbed aboard with you some eleven years ago, she’s inside me somewhere. And I know you are still in there too.

For now, I stand and observe, for this new man I see has qualities that keeps me curious.

I can’t take my eyes off of you!

I notice you; as you sit at the dinner table casting smitten glances at our children.

I notice you; as you mow the lawn unfazed by the two small shadows following behind.

I notice you; in the grocery store line-up as you crunch numbers to stretch our budget into our tomorrows.

I notice you; and the way your exhausted body hits the bed at the end of the day.

I notice you; and the way the lines of your face have been changed by our life, morphing your youth into aged wisdom.

I notice you; as you prioritize instilling love and compassion with just a subtle hint of silly into the character of our boys.

I notice you; as you take a mental note of my ‘DIY wish list’ and run how-tos through your mind.

I notice you; as you tread lightly around my many emotional states, and respond with just the right amount of softness I need.

I notice you; as you doubt yourself, wondering if you are doing everything you can for our family (I assure you, you are!)

I notice you; as you wake well before the crack of dawn committing yourself to the duties required to keep our family afloat.

I notice you; as you shower away those signs of trauma, turmoil, and pain so you can keep on going for us.

I notice you; and how your love has deepened so I can still feel ignited when you hold my hand even after everything has been poured out of you each day.

I notice you; In our boys and the way they live, laugh and love with every fiber they posses.

I notice you; and the ‘potential’ you have to grow into the man our boys need years from now in their youth when these times are so much different than our own.

You probably thought I don’t notice you anymore, but I do! I am watching you and waiting for the days we can have to ourselves again – You are my end game! You were my beginning, and when these children are finally reared – you will be my ending!

I notice you, and I thank you!!

I love you! This new you, the old you, the not so perfect you that you think you are! It is all the same to me and I look forward to reuniting with you each new day.

 Tight Squeeze!