Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The first weekend in November, we had a fall family photo session to take pictures to use for our Christmas cards. Lauren was amazingly patient with two little boys who refused to take naps that day & ended up in sour moods. Not only did she extend our 45 minute session to almost an hour and a half, but she also managed to get some really nice shots.

I didn't know it at the time, but this would be the last time that we would pose as a family of four. It makes these photos incredibly special to me & I know they'll be special to our boys one day.

The two family shots we used for our Christmas cards:

I'm always the one behind the camera, so having shots of me and the boys together melts my heart.


 And one last sweet shot of baby Jack... I wish I'd gotten a few more of Liam but he was go! go! go!

 I know that money will be tight when I'm on my own, but I hope to be able to splurge and capture my growing boys each fall. Next year's photos will be a special way to show how much we've all changed.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Four Eyes.

A few months ago, we noticed that Liam was squinting when he watched tv. Our couch is only about 10ft away from our 40-something-inch tv, so we knew it was something we should keep an eye on. He would relax as he moved around the room, but the second he looked at the tv, his eyes would scrunch up:

I made a call to our pediatrician & he said that with him still being so young, Liam couldn't read the basic eye chart that they keep in the office-- instead, they recommended we make an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. Our appointment was today.

Don't let that happy face fool you. The appointment was NOT FUN. (He was happy before it started and after it was over.) I gave Liam a pep talk about the eye doctor & even tried to show him a YouTube video about it. I told him he'd be getting some eye drops and that it might tickle but it would be over quickly. We talked about how the doctor would shine a light in his eyes to take a look. He repeated what I said & I thought we were good.

(For anyone wondering, HOW exactly do you examine a toddler's eyes? The eyes are dilated, then the doc shines a light into the eyes and is able to tell if the child is nearsighted, farsighted, or has astigmatism based on the reflection. Different lenses are held in front of the eye and the one that corrects the reflection is the right prescription.)

The eye drops? I had to pin him down while the nurse forced his eyes open. The lights in his eyes? He started crying hysterically and clamped his eyes closed. When she tried to hold lenses up to his eye to look, he tried to smack her hand away. She had to call a nurse in to help hold him still. It was traumatizing for all of us.

BUT, I'm glad we went, because mama guessed it-- He's nearsighted & has astigmatism in both eyes. Nothing severe,  but enough that he needs glasses.

WHY aren't there more options for toddler glasses?! 

There are a million options for kids' glasses but very few for babies/toddlers beyond colored wire rim & flexible rubbery frames. We tried on a few pairs today and decided that subtle was NOT the way to go... If he's going to wear glasses, he's going to rock them!! Check out this cool dude:

A little too big, but you get the point.

See what I mean?
Dork (ok, the expression may have something to do with it) vs. hipster adorable.

 The frames in the pics are several sizes too big so I'm on the hunt to find something similar in the right size. I hit up several local places this afternoon with no luck, but tonight I found these:


The frames are more oval than square, but the size should be just right & the cable earpieces are great for toddlers! I think I'll probably order them without lenses so that Liam can try them on, then get the lenses here if we're committed! They'll take a few weeks to come in-- we just need to order as soon as possible because we have a follow up appointment in 8 weeks.

I'll be sure to post pics of the bespectacled boy once we get them!

Monday, January 14, 2013

He's a huge McCartney fan...

Liam & Rob's duet of Silly Love Songs:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

3 Years Ago Today...

...I found out I was pregnant with Liam. It felt like a miracle. 

(It still does.)

 (These rings were a gift for Mother's Day this year, made by Kathryn Riechert. LOVE.)

Three years ago today, I couldn't have imagined the twists and turns my life would take...yet every surprise that has come my way has made my life even better.

These boys... not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for every minute I get to spend with them and the amazing gift that they gave me... they made me a mom. 

Three years ago today, I knew my life would never be the same-- but just how incredible it would be, I never could have imagined.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Confection Affection.

Christmas is over. No birthday parties to plan. So you know I'm antsy about starting a new project. I'm scratching my crafty itch by thinking about the next holiday-- only a little over a month until Valentine's Day!

I've been poking around on Pinterest, trying to decide on a little Valentine for the boys' classmates. Homemade treats with a personalized bag topper is my go-to plan for most holidays-- they're cute, and depending on the treat inside, they're not too terribly difficult, expensive or time consuming. So, I'm thinking I'll do a combo of this & this.

I've made iced cookies one time before-- My first attempt wasn't a disaster, but I wasn't exactly proud of them. Outlining & flooding cookies is definitely a skill that requires practice, not to mention perfecting the sugar cookie & royal icing recipes! So, in order to have lovely little iced treats in time for Valentine's Day, I decided to start practicing this weekend.

I found a REALLY good sugar cookie recipe. I think I may slightly increase the almond extract in my next batch, but this dough was easy to make, easy to roll & cut, didn't spread when baked and had a really nice firm consistency, almost like shortbread. (I prefer this to cakey cookies, if they're going to be iced.) As for the royal icing, I followed this, but I found it to be way too thick & ended up adding lots of water (at least another 1/4 cup). Really, I think that most royal icing recipes taste the same... like powdered sugar. Making it is easy-- working with it to get the right consistency is a little more challenging.

This batch definitely looked better than my first attempt!! I'm still trying to figure out the best method to ice them. Last time I made these, I made a batch of icing, then split it-- leaving one slightly thicker for piping and watering down the rest for flooding. I piped the outline, let it dry for a bit, then flooded them. I didn't love that you could still see the outline.

I read a tutorial that suggested that I could use the same icing for both outlining and flooding, so I decided to try that this time. This tutorial suggested outlining, then immediately filling them in with the same icing & gently shaking them to help the icing settle. I tried that with the hot pink hearts-- some of them turned out better than others. I love that there's no distinct outline, but I felt like some of the shapes aren't as crisp as they could be, because shaking the cookie distorted the outline shape. (And since the icing isn't thinned, it doesn't spread and fill in as easily on its own.) With the light pink, I outlined the cookies, then let them dry for about 5 minutes before filling them in with the same icing. I like that the outline kept its shape, but like my first batch, I don't like that you could still see the outline once the icing dried.

So, after talking to someone who makes cookies for a living, she suggested that I go back to the two consistency plan, but pipe & immediately flood. Of course, the only option I haven't tried! Her cookies look beautiful, so I'm going to give that a try with the next batch. I'll probably make them one more time before Valentine's Day, just for practice.

My official taste-tester didn't care what they looked like-- he was just happy I let him have one for breakfast.


Talk about perfect timing-- I just linked up with Meredith over at The Tichenor Family for Make Cookies Monday!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

So Grateful.

I am so grateful.

Thank you, everyone, for your kind, supportive and encouraging words.

For those of you who called me strong, brave, graceful & thoughtful-- you have no idea how much I need to hear those words right now.

For those of you who offered love, I need it now more than ever.

For those who had no idea what to say, but took the time to say anything-- thank you so much. I can't even explain how much it means to me when someone says, "I have no idea what to say... I just want to tell you that I'm thinking about you & that I'm here for you." It's more than enough.

The fact that long-time friends & also brand new ones left comments of support for me regarding one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make... I'm just so grateful.
I'll post information going forward, regarding our progress with this process (as it's appropriate, of course). Officially, we've been legally separated since the week before Thanksgiving. (We actually spent Thanksgiving apart for the first time.) There is no mandatory separation period in our state, so we were able to file for divorce as soon as we made the decision together-- the process was started the first week of Dec and the papers were finished, signed & filed the week before Christmas. 

A judge has been assigned to our case & we're moving into our negotiation period-- this part will be HARD. I keep reminding myself that whatever is best for the boys is what needs to happen. It may not be exactly what I want, or what Rob wants... but we have to attempt to be as selfless as possible.  As we work through our custody & support arrangements, I'm so hopeful that we can work something out that's satisfactory for everyone.  This isn't just a break up-- we can't say goodbye and walk away. We need to be able to get along as we raise our sons-- I'd even like for us to be friends.

We're still living under the same roof (sleeping in the same bed, in fact-- a certain little surprise stole our guest room!) & getting along just fine. As I said in my last post, this was not a rash decision, neither of us were surprised and this was not done in anger-- just the opposite, actually. I think that we both feel some relief in knowing that we're taking the right steps to ensure that everyone is happier in the future.

But it will take some time to get there... our lawyers estimated around 6-8 months to finalize things. That time will be challening for everyone, so I'd love for you to keep us in your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It's a new year. One that will being many changes for our family.
 I have some news that it’s time to share…And it’s probably pretty surprising.

The week before Christmas, I filed for divorce.

This was not a surprise to Rob & he was in total agreement that this is the right decision for us… but I understand that this may seem like it came out of nowhere. I assure you, it didn’t.

My blog is not anonymous. My name, my husband’s name and my children’s names are splashed all over the place. I’m a firm believer that you just don’t talk about these kinds of things… not here, not where the story is one sided. Not where the words we write will live forever. So, any struggles that we’ve had in our marriage have remained absent from this space, because it’s the respectful thing to do.

And I want to be clear—that will not change. Might I vent about any frustrations in our situation that (I’m sure) will arise as we transition into the future? Absolutely. But never in a way that is malicious or unfair. My husband’s family reads this blog & one day, our boys might. I never want to discuss the intimate details of our private problems in such a public way.

So, “Why?” you might be asking.

This is a decision that I’ve thought about for a LONG time…something I’ve considered (and we’ve talked about) for years. But, I’ve always felt like I should continue to work on things… I felt guilty for “giving up” on my marriage. I take my vows very seriously, and I’ve always wanted to do what’s in the boys’ best interest. I’ve struggled— feeling like making the decision for us to split was selfish. But we’ve been in and out of counseling our whole marriage and our last round finally gave me the peace to say that we did everything we could to make it work…and it’s just not working.

The short answer is: We bring out the worst in each other. I’m tired of my boys seeing the worst version of me. They deserve the best.

So, how am I feeling?

I’m sad. (I had faith for a long time that we just needed some help learning to communicate better.) I’m scared. (How will I take care of a 1 year old and a 2 year old most of the time on my own?) I’m relieved. (I don’t have to dread doing this anymore because it’s done.) I’m hopeful. (I would love for Rob and I to be able to co-parent peacefully.) There’s so much to process… I’m sure it will take a long time to sort out all of these feelings.

But I wanted to put it out there… that this is the big change that I referenced in previous posts. This blog has been such an amazing source of support for me—through infertility & two pregnancies. I’m at another huge crossroads in my life and I hope that I feel the same reassurance that I’ve felt in the past by writing in this space. Despite the big changes ahead, we’re going to be ok. I’m going to be ok.

Two boys. One mom. Challenge accepted.