Wednesday, November 26, 2014


We finished a small basement remodel project, which included adding finished space that will serve as the girls' playroom. The dance party that took place as soon as the carpet was laid confirmed they loved it and the money was very well spent.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sharing is caring

Cookie Monsters get thirsty too! This sugar pie is a little Mommy through and through : )

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Future potty star

Charlotte wants to be just like her big sister when it comes to using the potty, so in an effort to keep her from physically pushing Anna off the toilet, we brought up the potty chair. It's been a huge hit and now both girls are happy ... next stop, potty training!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mid-week date night

More time in the car for work travel means more time to explore new artists on my Songza app (highly recommend!). A few months ago I fell in love with Ingrid Michaelson and was excited to see she was coming to Cincinnati for a concert in November. Mike and I don't do dates nights too often, and mid-week dates are almost unheard of, so this was a real treat! We enjoyed dinner downtown before the show at Nada (a fave!) and then realized how old we were upon arriving exactly at the start of the show. No worries, though, the opening act was great and we felt nice and settled when the rest of the crowd joined us an hour later : )

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy half birthday to you

A half-birthday seems like a good enough reason to me for a Friday cupcake. A certain 3 1/2 year old agreed!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Scootin' along

Anna loved scootin' around this past summer and fall; she started getting pretty brave and loved going down big hills. Charlotte wanted in on the action too, so I guess we'll have to put a scooter on her Christmas list : )

Catching some air in the driveway

Bike / scooter day at school, always a favorite for the kids in her class!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dinner theater

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Letter to Charlotte: Month twenty

Dear Charlotte,

Here we are at 20 months and I missed your 19th month letter. The best reason I can come up with is that I was just too busy soaking up all you and your sister have to offer in my free time, and I think that’s a pretty good one. I hate that I missed a month because you’re growing so much each day, learning new things, finding new ways to make us laugh, and becoming your own beautiful little person. You’re finding your voice, finding your way and we’re just along for the ride with you. And what a crazy, but fun, ride it is!

You’re a huge talker now, repeating everything we way and able to communicate most of what you want, although not always with fully-formed words. Others might now always know what you’re saying, but your Dad, Anna and I can usually piece it together based on where you are and what you’re doing. One of your favorite stuffed animals (and you have many) is your hedgehog (technically it’s Anna’s on loan to you) and I almost died when you started to call him by name. You melt my heart when you ask me “pease pease” for something and it breaks my heart when I have to tell you no. The careful way you sound out words and will repeat something until we understand gets me every time.

You were sick a few weeks ago and it tears at my heartstrings when you girls aren’t feeling well and there’s no magic cure to make you well. Because kids don’t know yet how to act sick, take a break and rest to let their bodies heal, we know you’re sick when you slow down to 30 miles an hour from your usual 60. It’s always weird being home with just one just one of my girls, but it’s even quieter when it’s because you’re sick. You’re small and pudgy enough to snuggle with me like a little baby and I since I know these days are fleeting (in the way of your long, lanky, bony sister) I cherish every second. I’m lucky that I have a flexible job and an understanding team, but that working-Mommy-guilt still rears its ugly head when I have to sneak away to answer an e-mail or multitask while you watch a TV show.

On the topic of being sick, you hated (with a vengeance) your 18-month check-up, specifically the shots. I understand the shots, those are literally a pain, but you would hardly let the doctor listen to your heart and the protective exam paper was torn to shreds after the wrestling match that was the rest of your physical exam. It’s not like the exam is something totally new, you and your sister spend hours “fixing” people and stuffed animals at home and you’re basically an amateur MD. If you’re anything like your sister, you’ll come around eventually, and if not, at least we know the vaccine schedule slows down from here on out.

You’re still a big Mommy’s girl … big is actually quite an understatement and I’m certain you would be happy if you were on my hip all hours of the day. I was pregnant with you at this age with Anna, but even if I wasn’t, I don’t think there’s any way I would have been carrying her as much as I carry you. I get that I’m a pretty amazing person, but sometimes everyone needs their space. Like when I’m trying to use the restroom, get dressed, or take a shower. I’ve taken to locking the bathroom door when your Dad is close by as I’ve had one too many instances where I have company and an audience.

You’ve developed a bit of a dramatic streak and love to react to situations with pretend emotions. One of the cutest is when you see a bug and scream “ahhhhhhhh” with all of your might and put on your best “I’m scared” face. The tantrums are the not as fun part of your dramatic streak and you’re all girl when it comes to letting your emotions fly freely. Luckily redirection, a hug, and affirmation that we love you generally make things all better and send you on the way to your next adventure.

You’re totally in awe of your big sister and want to do everything she does. And I mean everything. You want to walk up and down the stairs like her, climb on furniture like her, stand on a stool by my side in the kitchen like her, run like her, play like her. She’s your role model and although she may be frustrated at times with her shadow, I know that she loves having a little protégé.

You love to read the books in yoru room and sing songs before you go to bed and one of my favorites parts of the day has always been the sweet moments at bedtime. Lately, though I’ve had to take a break because you throw a literal fit when I lay you down, so you’re Dad has been on duty for a few weeks. After a long day at work, a rushed commute home, the craziness of daycare pick-up, to trying to get dinner on the table while wrangling two little girls, I don’t always relish carrying around 25 lbs of fun, but I know it will all be a memory in the blink of an eye. You don’t always know when you’ll experience a “last time” and I’ve already seen too many sweet moments disappear as you grow. So I’m doing my best to cherish the tug on my shirt, your soft breathe on my neck, and the gentle pat you give on the back of my arm because one day I’ll put you down to never pick you back up again. Even when you’re too big to carry, you’ll always be my little girl.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Candy theif

We couldn't keep this little duck away from the candy dish! It's a good thing she's cute ...

Sunday, November 2, 2014


The weather was chilly and rainy, but that didn't stop us from having a blast on Halloween! Anna requested a purple witch costume a la a side character in one of her favorite TV show, Sophie the First, and Charlotte wore a hand-me-down duck costume, very fitting given that she "quacks" with a passion.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I ran for life!

I crossed the finish line !!!!

You can read about my reasons for running here and here, but long story short, I ran because my life literally depends on the funds raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Race day was amazing in SO many ways and you couldn't have asked for a better day to run 13.1 miles! Race weekend started on Thursday with our Team in Training "carb-o-load" and send-off dinner, and it was a fun way to spend a little time with the people we've run so many miles with over the past five months. After dinner the Moms on a Mission enjoyed a little (or a lot of ) wine and decorated our race jerseys together. What a great start to the end of an amazing journey!

On Friday I picked-up race packets and perused the goodies and gear at the Expo before heading home to deliver to my neighbors and welcome my good friend and race buddy, Whitney, to Cincinnati. Of course we had to make a Target run for last minute necessities and it brought back memories of fun, random outings in college (and beyond).

The thing with races is that they start EARLY and there's some waiting in your corrals before you actually start working up a sweat. Serious runners have arm warmers for these occasions, but at around $50 a pop, and something you have to keep up with after they're shed, we weren't willing to lay down that kind of dough. Also, regular stores don't carry them and it was 8pm the night before the race. We had a moment of genius and purchased children's fleece-lined leggings and cut to fit our arms. BRILLIANT! We both went with multi-colored metallic hearts and received MANY compliments on them from fellow runners. They worked wonderfully and it was literally no sweat to pull them off and leave them behind at mile six.

If you've never run a competitive race, you MUST put that on your bucket list; even a 5K is an experience! There's just nothing like the excitement in the air, seeing the crowds and hearing them cheer you on, not to mention the sense of accomplishment. Cincinnati is known for it's hills and we were prepared for the course, and the monster hill at mile seven ... which ran by my old house, coincidentally! The last few miles were the hardest, mentally, as they were pretty flat and crowd support was more limited. But, there was something every mile as supported by the race organizers and those cheers and water stops and cheerleaders (that took many different forms) kept us going. I'd kept pace during training with a neighbor and we had a vague goal in mind, but nothing concrete. As we checked our watches each mile, we noticed we were going a bit ahead of our usual pace and were surprised, but kept on truckin' ... we motivated each other, pushed each other and wound up both setting huge personal records when we crossed the finish line!

We felt like a million bucks!

Outside of the physical accomplishment, I raised over $7,000 (thanks to a $500 grant from my employer received in January) and my Moms on a Mission team raised over $12,000! Thank you to everyone that supported me on this crazy journey. Almost everyone has a personal connection to cancer and my connection is obviously the most personal type. It doesn't matter how or where you give or support, something is better than nothing, and we're making a difference in the way we treat cancer and the life of patients today!

"When your legs get tired, run with your heart." 
Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving my heart so much power!

The Team in Training Queen Bee TEAM

The Moms on a Mission FINALLY got a group shot!

Huddling down pre-race


Post race pride! I crossed the finish line!