Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How My Family Stays Active With Fitbit



Mom & Me Yoga

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included Fitbit as compensation.

Life with a big family is busy! After work, school, activities, and responsibilities in the home, there isn’t much time for anything else. Living a healthy, active lifestyle, however, is one of my family’s priorities!


It’s so important to teach children to make healthy choices and stay fit while they’re young, so healthy living becomes a lifelong habit. Just like everything else, it begins in the home. Kids learn by example! If we want to raise healthy, active kids, we have to be healthy, active parents!


Fitbit Versa

Recently, we became a Fitbit Family! Prior to receiving the Fitbit Versa Ruby, I didn’t even wear a watch. I wasn’t completely convinced that I would use it frequently, but I was wrong. I absolutely love it! I feel lost without it on my wrist, and I use it all the time. My family and I quickly learned that it’s easy and fun to stay in shape with Fitbit. It truly is such a great motivator!


Down syndrome blog

Monday, October 15, 2018

Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

It happens every year. Summer lasts well into October, and I find myself wishing for Fall to arrive. Once it does, it hits with full force. We don't have transitional weather in Pittsburgh anymore. We go straight from 80+ degree weather to 50 degree weather overnight! Now I find myself wishing we were back in Myrtle Beach, enjoying family time and gorgeous beach weather!


If you've been following along, I already posted a recap of our road trip to the beach on Liam's 5th Birthday, and our second day in Myrtle Beach, along with our favorite tips for vacationing at the beach with kids! If not, I included those links at the bottom of the post. I'm determined to finish the complete recap by Thanksgiving, unlike last year's vacation, which took an entire year to finish. Going through thousands of vacation photos is a daunting task!

Here's what we did on day 3 and day 4 of our Myrtle Beach Family Vacation...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

10 Easy Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

10 Easy Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

I received complimentary products from discountcontactlenses.com in exchange of an honest review.

Like many people, I have to wear corrective lenses. I started wearing glasses when I was in 5th Grade, and switched to contact lenses the following year because I hated them so much. Although I should probably get a pair of glasses to use as backup, I prefer contacts, and have been relying on them for 20+ years.


mom blogger

Wearing contacts is so routine now that I don't even think about it much. But just like with anything else in life, it's easy to start skipping important steps to save time. After all, contacts are disposable these days! What does it matter?

The truth is, it does matter! Thankfully, there are easy ways to save time, make your contacts last longer, keep your eyes healthy, and save money!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Down For Adventure in Myrtle Beach (+ TIPS)

Down for Adventure in Myrtle Beach

Every Summer, we go on a family vacation to the beach. We always go to Virginia Beach, but this year, we decided to switch things up a bit and try a different place! So on Liam's birthday in late August, we packed our SUV to capacity, piled in, and headed to Myrtle Beach for a week of family fun!


I already recapped Liam's birthday, and our road trip to the beach. We decided after just a few hours of being there that we loved Myrtle Beach just as much, if not more than, Virginia Beach. Our first full day was so lovely, that I can't help but wish we were back in paradise right now!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Goodbye September, Hello October!

Celebrating

September went by in the blink of an eye, and October is in full swing! Although the leaves are starting to change, it still doesn't feel much like Fall. Other than a few cooler days, the weather has remained warm. We actually have a couple days of 80+ degree weather coming up! 


It's hard to get in the Fall spirit when it's still so warm outside. We're still wearing Summer clothes, and spending a lot of time outdoors. I would love to toss on some cozier clothes, but I do prefer warm weather!

September was a busy month, filled with back to school events. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I typically do. But just like I do every month, it's time for a photo recap!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Perfect Game App For Busy Moms

The Perfect Game App for Busy Moms

This post is sponsored by Jigsaw Puzzle but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

As a mom of four, my life is chaotic! If I’m not chasing kids around, I’m driving them around. So much of my day is filled with waiting, and sometimes I just need something to occupy my mind while I wait, other than mindlessly scrolling through social media. Now I have Jigsaw Puzzle in my life! This app keeps my mind sharp, and helps to pass the time while I wait. It’s the perfect game app for busy moms who just need to relax or keep busy during all those hours of waiting!


Jigsaw Puzzle App

Other than helping my kids with their puzzles, I haven’t put together a puzzle of my own in MANY years. Growing up, my beloved Grandma lived next door, and we used to spend hours working on puzzles together. Unfortunately, those days are long gone.

The Best Apps for Moms
I was fairly young when I became a mother, and because we spaced our children out, we always had curious little hands in our home. I simply couldn’t leave a puzzle out, because it definitely wouldn’t go undisturbed. As soon as I downloaded the Jigsaw Puzzle app, I instantly remembered just how calming it can be to work on a puzzle!

Jigsaw Puzzle

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Few Of My Favorite Things

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Happy Friday, my friends! Can you believe it's the end of September already? Where did the past month go?!? Today I'm sharing a few of my favorites that I loved during the month of September!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

HELP CHANGE THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE WITH THE ALL OF US RESEARCH PROGRAM

Help Change the Future of Medicine with the All of Us Research Program #JoinAllOfUs Sponsored http://bit.ly/2CT5dqi

This is a sponsored post in partnership with All of Us Pennsylvania  and ​The Motherhood​.


As an individual, I worry enough about my own health, but as a wife and a mother, my worry increases. My family relies on quality healthcare, regular well exams, and a healthy lifestyle, but I felt like the future of our health is out of our control. I hate feeling helpless, but now I can actually do something...and you can, too!  You can help change the future of medicine by participating in the All of Us Research Program!



The All of Us Research Program is a  nationwide research program, run by the National Institutes of Health. They are working hard to create the largest health database EVER. The goal of the All of Us Research Program is to get one million (or more) U.S. participants so they can find out how diseases is prevented and treated based on differences in lifestyle, genetics, and environment. Their mission is to speed up health research and medical breakthroughs.


By participating, you can potentially improve your health, the health of others, and even help create a healthier future for generations to come.  Participating is simple, and the information gathered will help researchers better understand health and disease.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Liam's 5th Birthday & A Road Trip to Myrtle Beach

Liam's 5th Birthday Celebration & A Road Trip to Myrtle Beach

On August 18th, our sweet Liam turned 5 year old! It just so happened to be the start of our family vacation, too, so we celebrated Liam's 5th Birthday with an 11 hour road trip to Myrtle Beach. It may not have been our usual birthday celebration, but we filled his day with our favorite birthday traditions!


Even though we spent 11 hours in the car, Liam didn't seem to mind one bit. He's a perfect traveler, and always does great on road trips. He didn't complain once, and the reward was spending the rest of his day in Myrtle Beach!

It's so hard to believe our beautiful boy is already 5 years old! I swear, he was just born. Time is a thief! The arrival of Liam's 5th Birthday was bittersweet, but it was definitely a memorable one...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How To Build Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Language, and Cognitive Skills Through Play (Featuring Cubbie Lee Toys)

How To Build Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Language, and Cognitive Skills Through Play (Featuring Cubbie Lee Toys)

This post contains gifted products from Cubbie Lee Toy Company.

Up until Liam was born, I didn't think much about the quality of play. Play was just something that all kids did. I certainly didn't think in terms of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language skills, and cognitive skills. Learning those valuable skills was just something I took for granted until my fourth child was diagnosed with Down syndrome. That diagnosis introduced us to a whole new world, including actually thinking about and researching how much play matters.


See, playing is more than just something kids do. Play not only inspires creativity and imagination, but it also leads to healthy brain development, and it builds fine motor, gross motor, language, cognitive and social skills. Kids can actually learn more through play at an early age, than by sitting down with learning materials, so it's important to fill your home with quality toys and encourage kids to play as often as possible!

We were introduced to the concept of quality play when Liam was 2 months old. At that point, home-based early intervention therapy services began. A speech therapist, an occupational therapist, and a physical therapist began to visit our home each week. I closely observed what the therapists were working on, asked lots of questions, began to research toys and activities that helped build important skills, and asked for toy recommendations.

It turns out that we already had a lot of quality toys, but from then on, I became very selective about the toys that we purchased. I also encouraged Liam to play with a wide variety of toys that would help him develop and grow! Using play to help build fine motor, gross motor, language, cognitive and social skills isn't just for kids with special needs. It's important for kids of ALL abilities!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Liam Lights Up Times Square

Liam Lights Up Times Square!

On Saturday, Liam's picture appeared in Times Square, as part of the NDSS Times Square Video Presentation, which highlights the lives of people who have Down syndrome. This was the second time Liam was featured, but yet again, we were unable to see it in person. Thankfully, we watched live (and cried)! Thanks to some amazing friends whom we have never even met, pictures of Liam from every angle in Times Square, came flooding in shortly after the presentation!


If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that we had a surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome with Liam after he was born, and it wasn't even confirmed until he was a few weeks old. Initially, it was a huge shock, but life didn't change in the ways we expected. Instead, we decided that we were going to raise our son exactly like we were raising his older siblings, and life with Ds actually became quite normal.

Life with Down syndrome isn't always easy, but again, life with ANY child isn't always easy. The truth is, life with Down syndrome is actually "typical" the majority of the time, and we're devoted to bringing awareness to the fact that Down syndrome is nothing to fear! The NDSS Times Square Video is a powerful way to bring awareness to an often very much misunderstood genetic condition!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Super Easy Way To Organize Important School Papers During The School Year

The Super Easy Way To Organize Important School Papers During The School Year

When my first child started school, I was amazed by the amount of important school papers that came home each week. I just tossed them in a basket, and hoped for the best. Eventually, I spent so much time looking for the papers that I needed, that I knew I had to figure out a better system. A $1 - yes ONE DOLLAR - expanding file folder from the Target Dollar Spot was the perfect solution!


Using that inexpensive expanding file folder kept all the important school papers organized in one spot. I perfected my method over the course of the years, and now I use just one folder for all four of my children. I briefly attempted a file folder for each child, but it ended up being more work. There were more folders to organize and sort through, and it didn't make sense for my son who was in junior high, because most of his papers were sent by email or found online. I've been using the super easy one file folder method for two years now, and it works beautifully!

Today, I'm sharing my tips and tricks to make the system flow seamlessly, and the little extras I keep in the folder that I always seem to need. I highly recomment this super easy method for anybody who has a child in school!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Monthly Recap: August Edition

The Monthly Recap: August Edition

When Summer began, it seemed like August was so far away, but the months flew by. It felt like I blinked, and August was over! I took off half of the month for vacation and family time, so I left a lot of blog posts hanging out in my drafts folder, just waiting to be published. That included my usual weekly mom life recaps, so I figured I would just share the rest of August in a quick monthly recap!

At the end of my last recap, I left off a week into August. So let's play catch-up on what happened last month! Spoiler alert: It's a lot!

Friday, September 7, 2018

It's Almost Fall Friday Favorites

It's Almost Fall!!! Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, my friends! The official start of Fall is just over two weeks away, but it doesn't feel much like it right now. We had temperatures over 90 degrees most days this week, and I just might be wishing away Summer for the first time ever! I am ready to decorate, embrace the upcoming holiday season, and put on some cozy clothes!


Although I can't fully get in the Fall spirit just yet, I've been sneaking in a few favorites, both old and new, over the past few days. I might still be wearing Summer clothes, but it sure is starting to look and smell like Fall in my home! It has been a few weeks since I last shared a Friday Favorites, so I figured I would share a few of my Fall Favorites today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade

The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade!

I'm back!!! After a nearly 3 week break from blogging, I figured it was time to get back to work. Over the course of those 19 days, we had a lovely family vacation at Myrtle Beach, and as soon as we returned home, it was time to go back to school. There was something else keeping me away, too, which I will be sharing soon. I'm going to kick off my return with a recap of a big day for my crew: The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade!


Although I missed blogging, I have to admit that the break was nice. I loved being able to focus on just my family! I have so much content lined up over the next few weeks, so I'm hitting the ground running today. I'm going to ease into it with one of the biggest changes for our family this year...sending all four of our children to the same school district, and having weekday mornings all to myself!

The past week was exhausting, but the school year is off to a great start! Although I was very nervous about the transition, Liam is THRIVING in Kindergarten. Lily moved to a new building, Lexie is in her last year of "elementary school" and Dylan will be heading to high school next year. All four of my kids are in different schools, so I'm adjusting to the new normal of juggling even more chaos! Back to school is always one of the busiest times of the year!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Virginia Beach: The Final Recap

Virginia Beach: The Final Recap

It's hard to believe the final Virginia Beach recap I'm posting took place almost a year ago to date. I didn't intend for that to happen, but life got in the way of blogging about vacation. I wanted to finish it before this year's vacation, and I hope to be more timely with that recap!


Speaking of this year's vacation, as this post goes live, we will be preparing for our trip to the beach! We're leaving very early Saturday morning, which also happens to be Liam's 5th Birthday. Spending 12+ hours in the car isn't exactly the best way to spend a birthday, but he will be spending the evening of his birthday on the beach! (Hopefully that will make up for it.) We're all looking forward to spending a fun, relaxing week together at the beach!

For now, let's go back to almost exactly one year ago today...it was day seven of our Virginia Beach vacation, and it was Liam's 4th Birthday...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Life Lately

Life Lately...Mom Life with four kids and Down syndrome

I'm back! The past three weeks have been rough. Liam got sick on July 24th, and it took him over a week to bounce back, then I caught his germs. I haven't been that sick in many years. I literally stayed home for almost an entire week, and couldn't leave my bed or the couch. I'm still not 100%, but it's a huge improvement from last week!


Needless to say, I won't be posting a weekly recap this week. If I did, it would look something like this: Monday sick, Tuesday sick but had to run a few errands, Wednesday sick, Thursday sick, Friday sick but starting to feel better, Saturday and Sunday weak and exhausted. I only pulled out my camera once the entire week, and I didn't get anything done! Lily spent this past weekend at my parent's house, Dylan had a friend sleep over on Saturday night and he spent all day Sunday with us, and Lexie went to her friend's house on Sunday. I feel like the past three weeks of Summer passed by in a blur while Liam and I were sick!

We hit the ground running today (Monday)! Liam has his last three days of preschool this week, and we have so much to do to prepare for our upcoming beach vacation. I also have to get back to work, and catch up on some sponsored posts that had to be pushed aside while I was so sick. I have so much unfinished content in my drafts folder, but right now I only have the brainpower to focus on real life posts! I'll get back to focusing on content after I get back from vacation and the kids go back to school. So for now, let's chat...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Family Fun at Virginia Beach {Day Six}

Family Fun at Virginia Beach

We are less than two weeks away from our next family vacation, and I have yet to finish recapping our last trip. I took so many pictures during the last three days in Virginia Beach that I have to break it into two posts, but I'm determined to finish the recap over the next week! Although I do want to share our family trip, it was honestly very low on my list of priorities over the past year!


We absolutely love Virginia Beach, and have gone there the past few years, but we opted for a different beach this year. We're excited, but looking back at all the fun pictures makes me regret that just a bit! If only we could plan TWO beach vacations each Summer...or just move to the beach!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Mom Life Chronicles

The Mom Life Chronicles

The past few weeks of Summer have been a blur. After taking care of a sick Liam for two weeks, I ended up catching his germs. Although I didn't get nearly as sick as he did, the sore throat is brutal, and I'm now on day four of feeling miserable. That makes mom life a bit tough! Here's hoping the germs leave our house soon, and nobody else gets sick!!!


Here's a glimpse at mom life over the past week...

Monday, August 6, 2018

Lily's 7th Birthday

7th Birthday

Lily celebrated her 7th Birthday on Friday! I remember the day she was born so vividly. It doesn't seem all that long ago, so it's hard to believe my baby girl is now 7 years old!


Lily had a great birthday, and we spent the entire day celebrating! She kicked it off with a room filled with balloons, and it ended with a tent full of kids. Every moment was special, and I have no doubt she's going to remember her 7th birthday fondly!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! If you read my post on Tuesday, you know we're recovering from a tough two weeks. The good news is Liam is on the mend, he's done taking steroids (YAY!!!), and today is Lily's 7th Birthday! We have a LOT to celebrate! 


I'm keeping this week's Friday Favorites short and sweet, and sharing 5 awesome things that we are currently loving!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

When Sickness Strikes...

When Sickness Strikes...

The picture above sums up the past week of my life! Taking care of Liam, who ended up getting REALLY sick over the weekend, and preparing for a meeting to discuss inclusion with the school district took up all of my time. Everything else got pushed aside...no blogging, no photography, no sponsored work, no summer fun...and rightfully so. The needs of my family always come first!


Some of you might have seen all the "excitement" unfold on Instagram or Facebook, but if not, I'll sum it up. Liam managed to go 8 months without getting sick a single time, but made up for it in one short week. He got a low fever on Tuesday and it came and went throughout the week. It was odd, because he rarely gets a fever, but he didn't have any other symptoms...and then those Chickenpox popped up! Just like his big brother, he ended up getting a mild version of the virus even though he was vaccinated. Then, on Saturday, he went into respiratory distress, and ended up in the ER. It was truly one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had with one of my kids!

Here's how the week progressed from a simple fever to an overnight stay in the ER...

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What's Up Wednesday - Life Lately in July

What's Up Wednesday

There are only 6 more days left in July, and the first day of school is exactly 5 weeks away. Summer is passing by so quickly, and I feel it slipping from my fingers. The next time I share a What's Up Wednesday, it's going to be the first day of school, and I will most likely be a worried, sobbing mess, because it will be Liam's first day of Kindergarten! 


Before I focus too much on what's to come, here's what we have been eating, watching, reading, wearing, listening to, and loving...

Monday, July 23, 2018

Summer with The Chaos Crew

Summer with the Chaos Crew

We returned to our ridiculously busy schedule this past week. I went back to leaving the house every single day - often multiple times - but we packed a lot of fun into the past seven days! Life in the Summer is always entertaining and full of chaos!


As we approach the end of July, Summer just seems to be speeding up. I can't believe it's going to be August next week. August is full of birthdays, reunions, parties, our family vacation, and the first day of school. It's going to be fun, but I know it's going to fly by as quickly as June and July did. What I wouldn't give to press the pause button!

Here's what life is like with the Chaos Crew (AKA 4 kids who keep me on my toes)...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Down For Adventure in Pittsburgh with Just Ducky Tours

Down For Adventure in Pittsburgh with Just Ducky Tours

I partnered with Just Ducky Tours for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

As often as I say that I want to move to the beach, I do realize that Pittsburgh is a wonderful place to raise children, and that we're lucky to live so close to the city! Pittsburgh has some of the best universities, hospitals, doctors, museums, and professional sports teams, and has an amazing cultural district that appeals to any lover of the performing arts.  Pittsburgh ranks as one of the most livable cities in the United States, one of the best places to raise a family, and one of the best cities to visit. (I can also attest to the fact that it's a great place for a child who has Down syndrome!)


There are so many fun family-friendly activities in Pittsburgh, and my own family loves to spend the day in the city! It's just a short drive south from the suburbs, and there's no denying that Pittsburgh is a  beautiful place to visit. No matter how many times I experience it, my breath still catches every time the first bridge and skyscraper come into view as we approach the city.

On Monday, we decided to have a staycation day, and tour our city! We did it the way every Pittsburgh tourist should...with a Just Ducky Tour. We quack quack quacked our way through the city, and directly into the river without changing vehicles, learning fun facts about Pittsburgh along the way! (If you're wondering how that's even possible, read on!)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Mom On The Go

Mom On The Go - A Weekly Life With Kids Recap #momblogger #Downsyndrome #momlife

Happy Monday! After one of our laziest weeks ever, this past week was more on the go. The Mom Taxi and Dad Taxi made a huge comeback over the past few days!


If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just wait until your kids get older! When I had Dylan, more experienced moms would tell me to enjoy the quiet early years, because life gets busier the older your kids get. It is 100% true! And when you multiply it by four, life can get hectic!

Here's how last week played out (according - mostly - to my cell phone)...

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer Friday Favorites

Summer Friday Favorites

I received several of the items below free for review. I only share the things I love the most!

Happy Friday! Summer life is in full swing, and we are loving the hot summer days. Even though some days are almost unbearably hot, it's my favorite time of year. Summer life is the best life!



A few fun things made my love list this week! Some were sent to me for review, and I quickly fell in love, and others were fun finds while I was shopping. Here are six of my current Summer Favorites:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Liam in Times Square...AGAIN!

Liam in Times Square...AGAIN!!! NDSS Times Square Video #Downsyndrome #NDSS #Downsyndromeawareness

Three years ago, Liam's beautiful face was featured on the Jumbotron in Times Square. And this September, a picture of him will show up on the big screen again! The NDSS Times Square Video promotes Down syndrome awareness, right in the heart of New York City!


Each year, the National Down Syndrome Society puts together a beautiful video showcasing people who have Down syndrome, to help raise awareness about what life with Down syndrome is really like. It plays on the Jumbotron in Times Square before the annual Buddy Walk in New York City. It's a big deal, and we are honored that Liam is a part of it again!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

8 Fun FREE Things To Do With Kids In Virginia Beach

8 Fun FREE Things To Do With Kids In Virginia Beach

We are about 5 1/2 weeks away from our next family vacation to the beach! After spending the past few years in Virginia Beach, we opted to visit a different beach this year. We are really excited to explore a new vacation spot with our family, but we are going to miss spending time at one of our favorite places!


I know this is ridiculous, but I never managed to finish up my vacation recap from last year! I just take so many pictures, and it turns out to be a daunting task. The busyness of life took over, and sharing our trip got pushed to the side. I do want to finish it before our next vacation, so I decided to break the last half of our trip into several separate posts.

As I was glancing through the pictures from Day 5 of our trip, I realized that we spent the day taking advantage of all the fun free activities Virginia Beach has to offer! They also happen to be our favorite things to do while we're there. So rather than just recapping our day, I wanted to share 8 fun free things to do with kids in Virginia Beach, just in case you happen to visit there one day! (And I highly recommend you do!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer...with four kids!

I can't believe Summer Break is halfway over! Why does it have to go by so quickly?!? We just had the laziest week ever, and it was amazing. Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer are truly the best!


I'm so glad we opted to have an unscheduled Summer this year. We've never had one of those kind of Summers, and it's awesome to be able to do what we want when we want, and not have to leave the house every single day. I know it's going to come to an end way too soon, so we are savoring every moment, and enjoying all the gifts Summer has to offer!

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Countdown to Full Inclusion Kindergarten

The Countdown to Full Inclusion Kindergarten

When we received Liam's Down syndrome diagnosis, a lifetime of worries stretched out ahead of us. One of those worries was "What are we going to do when it's time for him to go to school?" That decision seemed SO far away, but the years passed by quickly, and soon, it was time to make that decision. We were completely torn about whether we would send Liam to full inclusion Kindergarten in the Fall, or have him go to preschool for one more year, but last week, we made our decision!


At the beginning of the year, I shared my thoughts about "redshirting" my child who has Down syndrome, and we have been undecided since then. So much so, that I signed the declaration to send him to Kindergarten, but never turned in the paperwork. If you would have asked me one week ago what our decision was, I would have told you that he would be going to preschool for one more year.

Although this is our first time dealing with special education concerns, we had to make a similar decision about sending Lily to Kindergarten when she was eligible. Just like Liam, her birthday fell just before the age cutoff for Kindergarten, which would make her one of the youngest in the class. We put a lot of thought into it, and decided NOT to redshirt Lily. It wasn't always easy, and she IS one of the youngest children in her grade (some students in her class were over a year older than her), but it was the right decision for her. However, we had to consider other factors with Liam, who has special needs.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Fourth of July Festivities

Fourth of July Festivities

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, and this year was a great one! We swam, we picnicked, we paraded, we ate too much food, we swam some more, and we watched fireworks. We had so much fun celebrating America's birthday with our family and friends!


The 4th of July has been a big deal since I met Grant. I quickly grew to love the holiday as much as his family did. Every year since I met Grant, we celebrated the 4th of July with his family. They always hosted a huge picnic, then we walked down to watch the town parade. Grant often drove his dad, who was the mayor, in the parade, and I occasionally joined him. Eventually, Dylan took my place. His dad brought fireworks back to the area, so we would end the night by watching the fireworks in the cemetery on the hill, then head back to his parent's house for a fire.

That tradition just wasn't the same after the death of Grant's father, who absolutely loved the 4th of July, and two years ago was the last year the picnic happened. Last year felt like a huge disappointment, so we knew things had to change. Although change is tough, this year we went to our friend's pool for a picnic/pool party, and we ended up having a fun day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Welcome Wednesday Link Party

Welcome Wednesday Link Party

Happy 4th of July! I will be spending the day celebrating with my family and friends, and will be getting back to the blog later this week. I decided to take a break from blogging yesterday, today, and maybe even tomorrow, but I will be posting the link up for those who would like to share their posts. Wishing my fellow Americans a happy, safe, fun holiday!

Your Hosts! 

Whitney at Polka-Dotty Place / Bloglovin / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter 
Keri at Keri Lynn Synder / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 
Sarah at Sarah E. Frazer / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Motherhood Chronicles

The Motherhood Chronicles

Happy Monday and Happy July! It's hard to believe another week of Summer has flown by, and June is over. Motherhood is never dull, so it's no wonder that time seems to fly by!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

8 Simple Tips for Strong & Healthy Hair

8 Simple Tips for Strong & Healthy Hair

I received this product for free from Moms Meet for review. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links. Opinions are honest and 100% my own.

After years of parenting four children, I realized that my own personal care was at the bottom of my priority list. I didn't go beyond the basics for my hair or my skin, and when you are in your thirties, those things really start to matter. Even though I don't have much time to focus on my own needs, truly taking care of my hair (and my skin) can be simple!


I'm a busy mom, so I frequently pull my hair back in a ponytail or a topknot. After years of abuse, I noticed a lot of breakage. Undoing the damage is still a work in progress, made a bit more difficult by my changing hair texture, but I'm starting to notice an improvement. Not only did I learn to let my hair down more often, but I also started following a few simple tips for stronger, healthier hair!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What's Up Wednesday? ~ June Edition

What's Up Wednesday?

It's the last Wednesday of the month which means it's time for What's Up Wednesday! Is it just me, or did June fly by ridiculously fast?!? I can't believe the month is almost over, and July is arriving next week!


On the last Wednesday of each month, I share a life lately post. It's a great way to share what my family is up to! Not just the daily recap, but the things we're eating, watching, listening to, reading, wearing, and more...

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Weekly Mom Life Recap

The Weekly Mom Life Recap

Happy Monday! We're starting the new week after having our first relaxing weekend of the Summer. It was LOVELY! The past two weeks have been really busy, so the break was much needed!


We finally have a fairly quiet week ahead of us. Other than my work (and there's plenty of that) and the usual everyday chores, the only thing we HAVE to do is go grocery shopping today, run a few errands, visit my parents on Friday, and go to a graduation party. I still can't run thanks to my broken toe, but I have big plans to start yoga again this week!

Here's a recap of what we've done over the past two weeks (Spoiler Alert: We've been busy!):  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Favorites: Five Things I'm Currently Loving

Friday Favorites: Five Things I'm Currently Loving

Happy Friday, my friends! Life is super busy right now, which is why I'm writing this post at 3 AM. I had some HUGE collaborations to work on this week, and Liam had his June summer session of preschool, so there wasn't much time left over for anything else! All I can say is TGIF!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dance Recital Mania

Dance Recital Mania

Lily's second year of dance came to an end this weekend, and we got to see all of her hard work during the dance recital on Saturday! Lily is not a competitive dancer, but she does take classes at an award winning studio that's filled with awesome teachers and incredible competitive dancers. We love the dance studio, and the dance recital at the end of the year is a big event!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

5 Healthy Ways To Start Your Day

5 Healthy Ways To Start Your Day

This post is sponsored by Natrol but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

I might be a lot of things, but a morning person is not one of them! No matter how hard I try, waking up early is just not my thing. I do, however, focus on healthy living, and I strive to teach my kids the healthy habits they need to become healthy adults. Following a healthy morning routine is how my family starts each day!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Mom Life Favorites

Friday Mom Life Favorites

Happy Friday! We are a week into Summer Break, and it isn't nearly as relaxing as I thought it would be. I'm taking a much needed break from the chaos, and sharing a few of my current favorite mom life things!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Down For Summer Adventures with Zip & Zoe + 75 Things To Do This Summer

Down for Summer Adventures with Zip & Zoe + 75 Fun Things To Do This Summer With Kids

This post is sponsored by Babymel Bags, but photos and opinions are 100% my own.

It's officially Summer Break, and my kids are gearing up for all the adventures that are ahead of us! While it's true that we're going to have an unscheduled summer, we will still have many adventures together as a family. The next 2 1/2 months will be filled with the things we WANT to do, not the things we HAVE to do!