World’s Okay-est Halloween

I love Halloween. It’s by and far my favorite of all the holidays, mostly because it’s a little bit morbid, I don’t have to fight about church with anyone AND there’s an endless supply of mini-Twix that my children willingly collect for me while I just sit back and enjoy. Other things I love: costumes, tacky decorations, and watching Johnny Depp in Sleepy Hollow. Therefore, Halloween is officially the best!

For whatever reason, this year’s Halloween felt a little off to me, not necessarily in a bad way, just in a different way. I know our years of trick or treating are getting fewer, as Lucy is already cooler than all of us put together, so I’m sure she’ll ditch this whole crazy train at some point. But maybe not…maybe her nutty old mom can convince her to be one of those teenage trick or treaters with the garbage bags of candy. One can only dream (of mini Twix…).


Lucy was going to dress up as a “Dryad Tree Fairy,” but the very expensive costume was apparently too itchy, so she ditched it after the school festivities for a homemade “ninja costume.” Yes, she is wearing my running hoodie. And every ninja needs to make sure they are sporting some pink Chuck Taylors, to keep their enemies on their toes. Tate planned to dress up as a dog, but then found a plastic tub full of my nephews’ old costumes and immediately decided he wanted to be the robot with wings. When I realized he had no idea who Buzz Lightyear was, I first scolded myself and then promptly sat down with him to watch Toy Story. He was even more excited to then dress up as “Light Buzzyear,” as he told everyone who asked who he was.


In the Mom Fail department, I totally spaced on the day of Tate’s Halloween parade at preschool (although in my defense, if they kids have school on Halloween, why would you have the party two days earlier?!?!?), which was a major heartbreaker for both of us. Not only was he the only kid not in a costume, I had to leave and go to work while all the other moms and dads stayed with their huge cameras and their energetic smiles. The teacher had to physically remove a sobbing Tate from my arms as I left. And then I sobbed in the car, as one does when they totally ‘eff up and let their kids down. Later that day, Lulu and I went to the toy store and got Tate a little apology gift, a brand-spanking new Buzz Lightyear doll. I felt sort of weird about trying to buy his forgiveness, but since he was wearing a hand-me-down costume…scratch that, his mom FORGOT his hand-me-down costume…I figured it was okay. That’s my goal here, people, World’s Okay-est Mom. Am I winning?


Hope you had a fantastic Halloween! If you need me, just follow the little trail of mini-Twix wrappers until you get to the couch!

Eight and Some Change


There is something very strange about having a daughter. When you’re young, you strive for independence, to be your own person, someone who is separate from everyone and everything else. You pride yourself on your “you-ness.” You are unique, you are special, there is no one like you….and then you have a daughter.



All at once you see yourself reflected back, but it’s not so much like a mirror as it is a pond or a window. The reflection is there, but slightly different, like someone took the “you-ness” you’re so proud of and rearranged it to make a whole new being. And this new being is a lot like you. She has your eyes and your smile and your clumsy way of falling down by tripping on nothing but your own two feet. On the other hand, she’s nothing like you. She’s methodical and creative in a way you could only dream of being. She’s silly and quirky, living in that stage in between caring so very much what others think and not caring at all. She loves video games, which you despise. She likes to build things, whereas you can’t even seem to put together a Lego tower without being mired in frustration.


She is like you. But different. She’s more like herself.


And at eight years old and some change, her “her-ness” is taking over. Every day you see less and less of yourself in her face, and more and more of her. I guess that’s normal, for her to follow the same path as girls have throughout history, the path you yourself followed not so long ago. She will strive to be independent, to be her own person, someone who is separate from everyone and everything else, ESPECIALLY her mother.



But that’s part of the wonder of it all. I don’t get to have a miniature version of myself, instead I get to witness the creation of this whole new person. She is someone I’m grateful to watch grow. I watch her fall, get up, succeed, fail, laugh, cry, learn and change. She is teaching me more than I’m teaching her. And that’s the gift.



(This week I’m featuring some incredible images taking of my family by Christina Gepner of Soul Studios in Kansas City. If you’re looking for an incredible family/lifestyle photographer, Christina is amazing!)

Horse Crazy 2.0

When I was about 7-years-old, I took my first horseback riding lesson. I had been a typical horse-crazy girl, but after that first lesson, my love for those giant animals skyrocketed. I would spend every waking moment at the barn, grooming lesson horses, mucking out stalls, riding out to the pasture to gather up the horses and bring them back to the stable…I loved it. I thought I’d end up riding horses for the rest of my life, maybe owning my own stable some day or teaching lessons. Even though that didn’t exactly happen as I’d planned, it’s been pretty wonderful to watch my kids learn how to ride the past few months. For her birthday this summer, Lucy asked for riding lessons, and she got her wish! She spent the summer riding at Peeper Ranch, the same place I rode when I got back into the saddle a few years back. Even Tate got to take a mini-lesson, and while we thought he’d be afraid, he had a ball! It’s a pretty wonderful thing, watching your kids love something you loved so much at their age. We’re taking a break from riding for the fall, but Lucy is already begging to go to horse camps and workshops at the ranch over the holidays and spring break. I might need to make her muck out a stall or two to earn her keep, but I have a feeling I might end up a ranch mom, with a minivan full of dirty boots and smelling of leather saddles. Sounds pretty perfect to me.







Growing Up Mobile: 4 Ways to Manage Screentime with Small Kids

BFF FaceTime on your birthday is the perfect cure for a little homesickness ❤️ #facetime #ipod #birthday #happy #fun

For the past few months I’ve been lucky to work with, a website dedicated to helping techy parents (or parents who want to be more techy) navigate the world of technology and kids. My recent post is up now, and it’s all about managing screen time with small kids.

Managing screentime in the summer can be so difficult, especially when you’re a work-at-home parent like I am. I struggle with needing peace and quiet so I can finish a project or an email, and it’s so easy to turn on a device to get the kids out of my hair. But the more time they seem to spend on the iPod and iPad, the more moody and cranky they tend to be!

Learn how we are dealing with the screentime issues by clicking here and reading the rest of my post on Pixelkin!

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