Thursday, September 29, 2011


Sure, I can assemble a diaper wreath. Come up with crazy shower ideas. And even write a poem or two that could be frame worthy, but I definitely don’t claim to be crafty. Also, I’m not as into recycling, which I wish I was, but…

So does this count as crafty and recyclish?:

I took the Etsy stickers I ordered from the cupcake toppers we used and re-stuck them and the remainders on a set of cards I found at Target to create thank you notes appropriately themed from the little dude's party.

So what do you think: crafty and green now?

No, not so much?

Yah, me neither. But I still thank you for making L’s birthday the best – so look for that littlie thank you note, crafty or not.


The Rack is the Mac!

Mac Daddy that is…particularly for the shopping obsessed such as myself.

Here was the alleged scene at 7:30 a.m.:

First thoughts: a) why am I not there? b) I should really be there c) can’t believe I’m missing this d) how did those men get dragged into that? They must really love their wives e) I hope my Mom has a strategy f) she should definitely start with handbags.

And indeed, she did, as she always does – my fabulous, superstar, will run all over town to get just the right thing Mom. Gah love her.

So after waiting in line for 90 minutes, witnessing fun contests and a particularly joyous dude on a microphone coupled with another guy who tripped over the curb in excitement, so much so an ambulance was called, Mom made it into the first 30 who wandered in and got dibs on the fabu merchandise. (PS: the man is ok and really he actually scores points because his dramatic fall meant a PR scheme for Rack employees, which resulted in a three-minute early entrance time). (PPSS: what is with these men? Fainting on the job of shopping is woman’s work!)

Several phone calls later, a few elbows thrown by my ever-tiny but not to be underestimated Mama and she scored three super fun sparkly shirts just her daughter’s size and style, a few sport bottles, a ring, OPI polish and drum roll: a Kate Spade large, silver, sparkly tote from this season.

All under $200.


I don’t know how many times I’m going to hit the place in a week but I anticipate it’s gonna be a lot…you know, if that whole raising a two-year old, working, exercising, preparing meals and catching up with family and friends thing doesn’t get in the way. Because I’m nearly certain there are more shoes, jewels, boys’ clothes and athletic wear to be had.

And not only that, but Mom reports the place is flawlessly clean, employs fabulously fun and helpful team members and lines move like lightning.

See you there?

And thanks Ma, you’re the BEST! For a million reasons, but one of them definitely being your Rack scores!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Crayon Doesn't Fall Far From the Box

It's official: the little dude and I are going to sport Crayola wear for the upcoming day o' tricks and treats:

After much debate, Chugginton, DJ Lance, a pirate, dinosaur/dragon and a robot just couldn't compete.

And yah, I'm totally sporting it to work on the 31st.

Now, how to get Daddy into a big ol' green crayon uniform...

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Reality of Saying Bye-Bye

I lay the top of my forehead against the steering wheel, feeling the tears as they cascaded down my cheeks and fell onto the weather mats below, puddling in the small grooves like the “muddles” he and I had been jumping in just the afternoon before. My heart felt as if it had been physically removed from my chest, and as I caught a glimpse of his tee-ball and plastic wiffle ball out of the corner of my eye, I felt a piece of my soul slip away as well.

Entering the house, sippy cups, rocking horses, his “park”, jammies and all signs of toddler surrounded me, and for a minute, I had to look around to see if he was really there. But the house stood eerily quiet, the same kind of still that just the weekend before I’d been longing for when it was all becoming too much, now was the enemy. Though it was imperative I keep packing, prepping, preparing, rehearsing and getting on the road for my week-long business trip, I stood there, motionless, trying to remember what my purpose was. And in this deafening silence, it still couldn’t be found.

Trying to channel my inner courage and focus on the positive, I searched for comfort in the words from Karen Maezen Miller of “Momma Zen:”

“The hardest day is not the day….the doctor comes at your tender two-month old with a needle…rise from all shaky fours with a bloody tooth…sop up vomit from a leather seat, poop from a cashmere coat or pee from a puddle two steps away from the airline bathroom…

The hardest day is the day you say good-bye. For many of us right away and for all of us eventually, this is everyday. Saying good-bye is the hardest thing to do. The thing we must do most is the thing we care to do the least, and so it keeps coming around the bend.

There were reassurances…but they were such flimsy tissue-paper sails to ferry us through the dark distance of being gone.”

Be calm and confident in separating, because even in separation, there is no separation, and the trust you impart will be the trust in which your child carries on.”

So I’ll do my best to channel my inner Karen, and I too, will carry on, hosting a stellar meeting for Radiology and Ambulatory folks who are working to make a difference in millions of pediatric patients.

But deep down I’ll know that the reality of saying good-bye is a harsh one.

Miss you already, buddy. Wishing you and Daddy that week of “sitting around watching football in your undies” comes true.

And with that, I’m off to Dallas, my friends. Have a wonderful week and look forward to the fun weekend activities like the Plaza Art Fair and Strutt With Your Mutt!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Room Review: Touches of Fall

A full social calendar that includes things like harvesting apples, visiting pumpkin patches, jumping in leaf piles and sipping on cider - what could be better? Oh, and don't forget: adding in those touches of fall around the house:

Welcome, Fall. So glad there is more of you to come!

And more decorating to do on Sundays at midnight...

One Month and Counting!

The big day is now inching to less than a month away, and we couldn't be more excited for two people we love with whole hearts.

And here's hoping the whole two-year old ring bearer duty thing goes a bit more smoothly than the tux fitting (I can't even go there yet to's too fresh). Oye vey.

Either way, Aunt Erica and Uncle Ryan's (aka: "Loading") day is sure to be one we'll forever cherish.

One month and counting!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#1 Grandparents

In addition to the three birthday parties, two showers, honoring 9/11 and daily activities we celebrated this past weekend, there's one important day that did not go unnoticed, and that was Grandparents Day:

We began our morning with Daddy taking some well-deserved time off and heading out to the Chiefs game, only to find ourselves knee-deep in dough, sprinkles and frosting, creating a little treat, a small gift for the people in our lives that bring us the greatest blessings.

Inside: chocolate chip and frosted sugar cookies. Outside, the little dude's handprint and on the back, this quote: “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” All tied with a bow to be enjoyed.

The truth is, no mountain of cookies, no piles of cash, presents or accolades could ever account for how mesmerized, thankful and blessed we are to have the kind of grandparents we do in our lives. From our own set of parents to our parents' parents, we are constantly amazed at how they are always there, helping us grow and thrive and now doing the same for our own child. They are the epitome of kindness, the general of genuine care, the queens of fun, the captains of comfort and the leaders of love. And though we find ourselves speechless time and time again at all they continue to give with their hearts, minds and hands, we're going to spend the rest of our lives celebrating it and cherishing it for what it is...

perhaps even if it is just one cookie sack at a time.

We honor you Grandparents, on this special day and always...we love you.

Always Going Back

There’s a country song circulating the air waves out there that touts on something about “too good to leave, too bad to stay” or something like that, which I’ve discovered is a bit like my relationship with the MAC makeup counter. A frequent purveyor of blogs, many of them containing style tips, I always attempt to venture into “over the counter” brands found at CVS, then trend toward the pocket-emptying types like NARS, Chanel, etc, only to find myself heading back to MAC for their long-lasting shadows, quirky, brilliant artists, reasonable prices and fun appeal. I mean, who doesn’t need a bit of hip-hop while they’re getting their tired face redone? Super fun, and totally distracts from the fact you haven’t done your eyebrows in decades…

Recently, I quickly scooted my way to the counter over nap time to nab up my fall eye wear and was in dire need of foundation that doesn’t fall into my ever-developing cracks of wrinkles that line my face (laugh lines?! Crap.) I was met with a super entertaining, one-of-a-kind type of gal who provided me intense education, met a gaggle of her girlfriends, had discussions I likely wouldn’t even have with my husband and ended up with a pile of goodies that left me with a fresh clean face. Here is a sample of some of the things I walked away with:

Of course, I couldn’t take them all as it’s budget time as usual, making it difficult to recreate it as stellar as she did, but we’re coming pretty close. And with a gal that refuses to do more than a three-minute routine and is constantly on the go? I’ll take it.

Adore you, MAC – and I’ll always come back.

Friday, September 9, 2011


My thumb hit the advance arrow button time and time again, searching relentlessly for the quotes that brought me comfort among the pages of Murphy’s book, “the 7 Stages of Motherhood: Loving Your Life Without Losing Your Mind.” Frustration mounting as this was one of the moments I wished for tangible pages due to my lack of reading the Kindle manual, I stumbled upon the passages I’d been hunting and let them sink in, seeking comfort:

“It takes enormous energy, self-control, compassion, creativity, and wisdom to get through a day with a toddler, yet we al hold on to unrealistic expectations of seamless transitions, hours of independent play, moments of crystal-clear communication. But that’s just not possible.”

“During our children’s toddler years we move from holding their hands to holding our breath to occasionally holding our head in our hands.”

“Research shows that rates of depression are twice as high among women with toddlers as they are for other mothers, hypothesized that it’s’ related to the cost of self-sacrifice, of constantly giving, giving, giving – time, attention, empathy, understanding – with very little payback.”

“Take the long view should become your mantra during the toddler years. Challenges that throw you off balance or keep y you up at night may, within a couple of months, seem like minor blips on the radar screen. Problems that seem overwhelming and scary often resolve themselves.”

“Working-mom guilt percolates on high during the toddler years not only because you imagine you’re missing all those firsts, but because two-year olds are so much fun to be with.”

Needless to say, it’d been a tough morning.

Tears, ambivalence, defiance, throwing of food, shoes, clothes, hitting the dog, slapping Mom, demands, tripping over toys, bloody lip, no food in the fridge, car out of gas, denim dyed over my crisp new shirt now coupled with blueberry yogurt, negotiations, on and on and on. All before 7:00 a.m. from a child that, even in these moments, was largely angelic, intelligent and not a challenge.

As we scrambled to get out the door, I felt my emotional balance slipping away along with the three heavy bags on my shoulder and the 30-pound dude on my hip, demanding we can’t leave the house and kicking my side as we were crawling away without his hat and sunglasses. Neighbors shot glances our way as I gently laid him down to work things out and began packing the car, tears inching out of the corner of my eyes as the bags split open, items spilling over the dark and dirty garage floor and our indoor cat darted out onto the drive – outdoors. Right behind him, the dog, who promptly makes her business in the neighbors yard, meaning I now had to convince the child to get into the car, find a plastic bag, tackle all the animals and try to As my heel breaks, a small piece of my bumper falls off, the non-compliance ensues and my garage door opener is no where to be found, I ponder how I’m going to make it through the day, despite there were no natural disasters to be found, starvation, terrorists, etc. Though in the emotional state I was nearing, it might as well have been…

Giving in and giving up, practically willing the animals to run away and for thieves to steal everything in my house through the open garage door so the house would actually be clean for once, we backed down the drive. A block in, I hear the voice of my most beloved, though generally attentive and responsive to his constant stream of words, I was only half-listening as I fought to erase the tears behind my glasses so he wouldn’t see that Mommy was sad. Then I hear it:

“Buckle broken, Momma. Oh oh. Buckle broke.”

Craning my neck as a pile of things tumble to the passenger floor, I see it. He’s not buckled in. I forgot to buckle him in. I, his Mother, needed to do the most important thing this morning and couldn’t even manage that, leaving it the responsibility of my two-year old to verbally warn me this was a problem. Now this seems like way too much accountability to ask of a 24-month old, don’t you think?

Yet there he was, warning me like he does with so many things, helping to keep our family balance and life in perspective.

I pulled into the nearest drive, not caring who was nearby and snatched him out, pausing by the curb and holding him for a good 10 minutes, light tears streaming down my cheeks, trying to shut out the “what if” thoughts screaming through the front of my forehead. He washed them away with a brisk hand, cupping my sides and knowing with his little, warm soul that together, we just needed a minute. To restart. Regroup. Re-asses. Retry. And just – love.

I’d come unbuckled. And with that, so had he.

After the added guilt of dropping him at school, I wept on my commute in and arrived 30 minutes late to work, shutting my door only to be interrupted 10 times within my arrival. Trying to put on a front of professionalism, I saw his little face all day in the front of my glazed eyes as I went through webcast after teleconference, meeting after email, faking it until I made it.

Finally, still feeling out of body, frazzled and in some other universe where it’s likely sane people do not make their habitat, I return home to find him playing in the driveway, his first baseball glove covering his left hand.

And I come unbuckled again.

With overwhelming passion, with joy, with his warm embrace, with the kind of unconditional love only a Mother can know. And suddenly, I know, though some days are like that, we will forever be safe in the breadth of our love…

unbuckled or not.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Diggin' for Denim

Cooler, amazing temps combined with the passing of Labor Day weekend have prompted me to break out the jeans, sparking excitement about my favorite time of year. Add in a lazy, loose fleece and I'm in heaven...

When sporting these said jeans, I've been asked about twice daily what brand they are and where they may be purchased. So here you go girls, have at it:

Ann Taylor Loft's Curvy Flares

GAP's Long and Leans

I adore them both because they're under $70, stretch and mold into the softest cotton, wash up like a dream and of course make a woman of substance appear smaller than she really is.

What more can a gal ask for?

And if you're questioning the flare, I still stay in full support, again for the sole reason it makes your hips look smaller. the pear shape.

So if you're going diggin' for denim, I suggest you start here.

Happy shopping!

You Wanna Be a *WHAT?*

"Bug, what do you want to be for Halloween?" I asked curiously, a touch of excitement and encouragement in my voice in anticipation of him spilling the beans at his now oh-so-mature age of nearly two.

"HOMIE!" he shout, his blue eyes lighting up as if he just discovered ice cream was waiting for him downstairs.



still speechless...

So like all toddler tricks, I ignore the inappropriate answer and ask again: "what do you want to be for Halloween this year, buddy?"

After a few more attempts we arrive at potentially a Ring Master (thank you Yo Gabba Gabba), but the vote is still for "homie."

And as you all know, this just ain't gonna fly.

Seriously - where does he hear this stuff anyway?! His claim is a "man" says it...Lord knows who he is encountering in his active social life as a toddler to pick up these queues. Though I have a sneaking suspicion Daddy may have something to do with it, though he claims he doesn't and little dude generally does rat his father out (thus how I learned why he was shouting "dangit!"

I scramble back through time to recall if I'd purchased one of those GAP or Nordy's tee that says "homie" on them, but alas come up with nothing. I give up. And I'm starting to get nearer to waving the white flag for his Halloween costume.

So what ideas do you have for innovative and affordable? What will your kids disguise themselves as this year?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Go Vote

It's rare you'll find me going political in this space or begging you to support one of my causes, but in this case:

Go out and vote for these two darling canines! Look at those faces - how could you not?!

No, not Katie and Jared (though they're both quite smashing themselves), but their adorable pups and help raise money locally for the free health clinic and the SPCA.

Woof and thanks!

Going Out With a Bang

We are indulging in the kind of long weekend one only dreams of, complete with weather that signals the first signs of fall, projects falling off the to-do list that have been on for months, a day away from the daily grind, meals prepared with peace and purpose, hours dedicated to naps, an abundance of friends and family and at the heart of it all…

Lawson’s second birthday party!

Seamless and celebratory, it’s a day we (and he!) will never forget for its cheer, joy, active and smile-inducing play. Hosted at Gymboree for a “here, take my money so all I have to do is bring cupcakes,” it began late afternoon with gaggle of our nearest and dearest, which slowly grew to more than 30, many of them little friends under age two, delighting in the primary colors and craziness ensuing around them. Tottering over slides, bouncing of padded obstacles courses, chasing flavored bubbles, clapping to songs, leaping from heights, tucking and rolling in parachutes and some who had just sitting staring in wonder - it was a sight to be seen. Those sans wee ones hung nearby, sharing in the laughter, catching photo opps and unearthing their child-like spirit stuck deep within their souls.

And when play turned to a bit of ambivalence, it was a march to the cupcakes for the “Happy Birthday” tune, beverages needed after some intense activity and catching up with the kind of friends and family one spends each day being grateful for. As laughter and stories filled the room, we served red velvet and birthday surprise cupcakes, passed goody bags to the little ones, hugged guests we hardly had enough time to catch up with and delighted in watching Lawson make headway with his once-lit giant baked good, taking moments to sip a rare juice box in between. Soon, the presents were whisked away, chatter died down as our timeframe ran out and the scramble to pick up and go was upon us. But not before photos were captured, well-wishes exchanged and…

the birthday boy went out with a bang. Literally.

Catching his two front teeth and lip on the edge of what once had been laced in primary colors, streamers and bicycle-themed items for his special day. Alas, like most kid incidents, no harm no foul and was quickly cured with a now almost fully recovered Grandpa pretending to fall into a faux tree.

So yah, we went out with a bang. And what a bash it was.

Thank you to all of our incredible family and friends(many of them not pictured here!) who make these special days and all moments worth celebrating. We love you, honor you, cherish you and hope that when it comes to going out with a bang…

you’ll always be there right besides us.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A New Take on Sperrys

Aren't they darling?


I'll take one pair to go...

Of All The Sayings...

the little dude has rattled off this weekend that nearly landed me in hysterical tears, here is the best of all:

"Oh, OH Daddy!" urgently pointing at the hubs' nose.

"What, what is it buddy?" says Daddy, imagining a bleed coming on or something else equally urgent.

"Up there!" says little dude, inching his finger closer and closer to the nostril region.

"Up where? Whaaa?" says Daddy.

"Oh OH Daddy - got grass in your nose! Gotta CUT IT!"

Well, played, little buddy. Well played.

And I didn't even have to put him up to it...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pop Your Collar...

cause this birthday boy is gonna step out in style!

How darling is this polo created by the ever-thoughtful, endlessly talented, super Mom of two Mrs. Jenny Knudtson?

Laid-back, timely, talented, creative and fun, Jenny took this tee from vision to finish, checking in a few times at checkpoints, but overall, she took our party theme (bicycles) and ran with it. Sensible and still attuned to quality, she nabbed a polo at Target and then took the time to find the perfect fabric in Lawrence that nearly matched the logo of the little dude’s party set for Saturday. The polo is fabulously soft and just the right shade of grey, and Jenny took her Hallmark designer sense and placed a 2 on the breast pocket and cut darling, patterned letters out on the back with a larger 2 represented. Essentially it’s like a jersey for a little guy to sport at his soiree – perfect! When receiving her package, she included care instructions and insisted she was very flexible and open to feedback. During the process she even included a teaser!

Thank you, Jenny, for creating a color-coordinated, perfectly sewn shirt we’ll literally keep for a lifetime for its sentiment and one-of-a-kindness. Because of you, the little dude’s pics are sure to be fab…and everyone will know he’s “gonna be two!!!”

Check out Jenny’s Etsy site in the next few months at or connect with her via email for one of your very own.