This year

It’s that much loved time of year again…. or dreaded depending on who you are and what you really think of the back to school season. Me, well I’m glad that the kids went back to school because it’s been a long summer (3 full months to be exact) and I think that they were ready to go back too.

The part where I make you jealous….

And because it’s that time of year I’m going to share my girls first day pictures with you just like the rest of the world! But you see, things are a little different over here because instead of the cute little girls in pretty skirts and dresses or little boys all cleaned up and in the fresh new clothes that will be covered in dirt by the end of the day, I have teens/tween.

first day - group

Yes, I do not have a single child left in elementary school (I can only say that for a few more years and then Andrew will be off to school). So this means that in the first few weeks of school I will not see a single fund raiser brought home, no papers asking me to help out with school parties or to volunteer in the classroom, and I won’t see a HUGE list of all the things that my kids need in the classroom this year.

Are you jealous?

Well, don’t be.

Why you shouldn’t be jealous…

Because I have 3 teens/tweens… duh! All the money that I would have spent on those fundraisers and classroom supplies have just been diverted to other things like saxophone repairs, clarinet repairs, parking passes, AP class fees, art class fees, and the list goes on and on.

But you know what? It’s okay. They’re amazing kids and have always excelled and done well in school.

This year…

This year while your little one headed off to their first day of kindergarten or first grade I sent mine off to their first day of their senior year, and their first day of their freshman year, and lastly, their first day as a 6th grader in middle school. Lots of firsts this year, lots of memories to be made, and lots of tears to be shed (on my part really since the kids will be happy as all get out).

This year while you watch your little one with tears in your eyes walk down the aisle as they graduate kindergarten I’ll be doing the same thing. The only difference is that my little one will be 18 years old and moving on to a bright future at a school far away from home.


This year I will watch my middle daughter blossom in high school and meet new people, make new friends, and set out on a path towards her own goals in the art world.


This  year I will watch my youngest daughter change as she finds her way around middle school and all too quickly changes from that little girl and into a tween that is different than before….she’ll be more cautious about the way she looks and dresses and become more of a social butterfly than she has in the past (as long as she doesn’t talk all through class again things will be just fine).


Regardless of the path that they choose they’re still my little girls that I dressed alike when they were little (they hated it… I loved it) and always will be. Time will never change that.

And you…

What about you? Did you send your child off to school this year? What grade are they in?

Interview with a kid – Lauren

I saw this cute little meme, Interview with a kid,  a while ago… February to be exact and I copied it and save it as a draft. From there I forgot about it until last night when I was trying to decide what I was going to post today. I had a few ideas swimming around and some notes that I dictated while driving one day but none of them stood out and they required a lot more work than this one and I’ve been feeling rather lazy when it comes to writing around here lately.

Anyway, this is an easy one because I just asked my daughter to answer a bunch of questions. Strangely enough she thought she got something for doing it.


This is the only recent pic I could find where she wasn’t making a silly face.

Basic Stats…
Name: Lauren
Age: 11
Height: 5ft – ish.. or so. She’s probably taller than that.
Shoe size: 8 – 8 1/2

What is your Favorite…
Cereal: Frosted mini wheats
Vegetable: carrots
Drink: Juicy Juice (any flavor)
Toy: LPS
TV Show: Sam & Cat or Duck Dynasty (I don’t know why she didn’t put Heartland down here she watches is all the time!)
Thing to do: Hang with friends and play softball
Color: Blue
Game: Apples to Apple (I thought it was talk moms ear off all. day. long.)
Book: The Witches by Roald Dahl
Restaurant: Mancinos
Place to go: Mall or Michigan’s Adventure

Lauren & LPS

She really does like her LPS…. she set everything up in the middle of her room and created a mansion for them. Please ignore the rest of the mess.

Random Q & A…
If you could change your name what would you change it to: Jewel or Taylor
What is something mom says: I didn’t buy it. I got it from blogging. (True story…)
What do you want to be when you grow up: 3rd grade teacher
What are you going to do different this year than last: Pay more attention in school and try harder with stuff. (Best answer… let’s hope that she sticks to it)
Who are your friends? Carson, Maddie, Ashton, Allison, Sierra, Natalia, Lily, and Abby. (They’re all her best friends too)
If I gave you $100 what would you do with it? Put it in my savings account for college (#lame)
What are you afraid of? ZOMBIES! Big spiders, poisonous snakes, and dying. Oh, she sent me a text in the middle of the night and added, “I also don’t like all the stuff about the world ending. Just to let u know.” (I copied it word for word)

Lauren - 5th grade graduation

They made a big deal out of 5th grade graduation this year.

I think that I got just as many questions asked of me while asking her the questions for this post. There were even more on my phone when I got up in the morning because she texted me in the middle of the night!

I can’t wait to see what her sisters answers will be.

Have you ever interviewed your kids? 

Play along…. snag the questions up there and share the answers in a post!

Wordful Wednesday ~ Where has the time gone?

Today my oldest daughter drove her first car home.

Today I smiled as she got out of her car and fondly remembered myself at the same age.

Today I wondered where the time has gone.


Where did this baby go?

Where did those chubby cheeks and baby smiles go?

How did we get to 16?


I look at this little face and wonder where the time has gone. I know that it didn’t just fly by while I was sleeping because I have so many wonderful memories, so many pictures, and so much love to have missed any of it.

My hope for her is that she knows how much I love her.

My hope is that she knows how incredibly proud I am of her and all that she has accomplished.

My hope is that every dream she has comes true.


But for all my love & pride in her I have fear.

I’m afraid of her growing up and not needing me anymore.

I’m afraid of her going away to college.

I’m afraid that I won’t be able to help her when she fails at something.


Look at her….

Isn’t she beautiful?

I think she is…. but the again I’m biased.

In my heart I know that all will work out perfectly, but sometimes it’s hard to not wish for more time with that chubby cheeked baby.

Wordful Wednesday ~ Bit by the theatre bug!

“The center stage is where I am.” ~ Martha Graham

At a very young age all of my girls were introduced to our local community theatre and have starred in a number of shows over the past 7 or 8 years. It started out as a way to keep the girls busy and out of trouble because I figure that kids who are busy, have interests, and are involved in things tend to stay out of trouble more than others. I’m happy to say that it has worked…. but that’s not what this post is about.

One of the very first shows that my oldest daughter was in was The King and I. To date it has to be one of the biggest and most elaborate shows that I can remember and one of the best too. Kids of all ages were involved and as a backstage parent who helped wrangle the kids, do makeup, and help keep them quiet during the show I can tell you that the amount of work involved is incredible and that the kids were simply amazing.

Cait in the King & I

Caitlin was on of the King’s children… I think that total there was around 20 kids in this show!

Natalie from Mulan 2008

Natalie started out in the Jr. shows and starred in Mulan Jr. and Alice in Wonderland Jr. After these shows she decided she liked working backstage better even though she did a great job in both shows.


If Caitlin sees this picture she’ll probably kill me for posting it… she’ll say how terrible she looks. But what I see is a happy girl with her friends getting ready for the production of Cinderella. For some reason I seem to be missing pictures from so many of the girls shows! I have no idea where they all disappeared to.

HS Musical

Right there… front and center…. that’s my kid in High School Musical!

Dorothy's Beauticians

And we can’t forget one of our favorite shows of all time! The Wizard of Oz! Caitlin was one of Dorothy’s beauticians and I worked on costuming. Let me tell ya… finding all those green outfits was a challenge! For munchkins we had mostly kids and we had to sew all of their outfits from scratch… again with tons of work! It was fun though and I’d do it again if it were a smaller show.

Now my youngest daughter has been bit by the theatre bug and is starring in her very first show! School House Rock Jr. which also happens to be the exact same show that her older sister was in when she was in 3rd grade.

Lauren - school house rock

And there she is… in the purple! I am so proud of all my girls and I love watching them on stage because they’re good. They can sing, dance, and act really well and I’m not just saying that because I’m their mom! I hope that they continue with it and always have fun up there in the spotlight.

Sometimes I wonder where they get it from because I am terrified on stage, can’t sing to save my life, and well I can sort of dance but not well enough. I am an awesome audience member and backstage helper!

Wordful Wednesday ~ Today

Today is the first day that you start daycare… you’re a big boy now and will have so much fun.

Today you will make new friends with all the other 2 year olds in your classroom and come to love your teachers.

Easter Scavenger Hunt

Today you will sit at the table like a big boy and eat lunch with all of your new friends and teachers.

Today I will worry that you will be scared and unsure of your new surroundings even though we’ve visited the classroom a couple of times.

blowing bubbles

Today I will worry that you’ll cry when daddy leaves and you’ll be all alone with new people.

Today I will also worry that I am failing you because I am not home with you like I was with your sisters.

Today a new page in our lives begins.

Playing in the sand

I know that this is the right thing to do for you and that you are going to learn and grow so much from being in a structured daycare and that you will enjoy it in time.

I’ve seen the things that the other children can say and do and was surprised. I couldn’t believe that they could recognize the names of their friends on flash cards…. I couldn’t believe that some of your new friends could talk in complete sentences that I could fully understand. I know that you will be sitting in that circle with them and doing the exact same things as them in no time.

playing with the buzz quad

Pretty soon you’ll be rattling things off in complete sentences and telling us about your day and how much fun you had.

This first day is going to drag for me as I watch the clock tick… waiting for that magical hour when I can leave work and finally come and get you and gathe you in my arms. All day I will wonder if you’re okay but I won’t visit yet because you need to get adjusted, but I will call to check on you. I need to for my own sake really… I need to know that you’re alright and now having a meltdown.

As the days turn into weeks I know that things will get easier for the both of us. All you need to remember is that we love you so much and that you will learn a lot and have fun.


Dressing the kids with Tea Collection

I have always loved shopping! And now that I have kids that love of shopping only gives me more reasons to hit the stores or the Internet and find some super cute things for them.

I will admit that it is a lot more fun to shop for girls because girls clothes are more fun and there are a lot more options really. Now, that’s not to say that my son doesn’t have some nice things it just that they’re not as cute as the girls. But… that is about to change because I have found that I can get some of the coolest outfits for him at Tea Collection!

Lauren wearing her Tea Collection tunic

The new Bali collection from Tea is amazing. Dresses, shorts, tunics, and cute tops are full of fun patterns and bright colors that are sure to make you smile. What I like is that a lot of them are interchangeable with one another which makes for so many more options.

I couldn’t believe how cute my kids looked in their new outfits (I could be biased)!

Andrew's Tea Collection Shirt

Andrew's Tea Collection Shirt

The outfit that I got for Andrew is so adorable but because it was chilly (after a couple weeks of summer like weather) getting him out in shorts was not the best idea so you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that he looked adorable! I will be getting him a couple more pieces that I can mix and match for the summer

Lounging with Tea Collection

This shot was her idea and of course her favorite!

Lauren loved her outfit if you couldn’t tell! She wore for her birthday party and kept telling me how comfy it was and that she wanted to wear it again and again!

Are you looking to build your child’s summer wardrobe? If so, then you can win a $100 gift certificate from Tea Collection!

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I see the boy

He’s growing up so quickly that I don’t know how the time has passed by me so quickly again (yes again… time flew by with the girls too). Where did my cuddly little baby go that was here yesterday and where did this little boy come from today?

eating his toes

I know that he’s growing up, learning new things, and changing every day but it wasn’t until the evening we were at the school for young readers group that it truly dawned on me. I sat there and watched him play with the other children, even the ones who were much older than him. He seemed to fit right in with the kids as they all ran around and played together…. even when they started rough housing. I’ll be honest… at first I was scared that he would get hurt but it became clear that he was all boy and that there was nothing to be worried about.


It was then that I fully realized that I’m a mom of a boy and that I don’t know what to do! I’ve spent the last 16 years as a mom to girls. There is such a huge difference in the way that boys and girls play… the things they do…. the things they like to play with. And here’s a confession… I don’t like playing outside and getting dirty. Not at all and it’s already evident that he loves playing outside and getting dirty doesn’t seem to bother him one bit. It looks like I’ll be stepping outside of my comfort zone this summer and learning to be the mom of a little boy.

outside fun

It’s left me wondering what the future will bring and will I be able to live up to being the mom of a little boy. What I do know is that there is no need to worry about him having all sisters & no boys to play with because being a boy is totally ingrained no matter what we seem to do.

little man

I see the boy that he is becoming so quickly. So happy, carefree, and willing to jump off of anything he can climb on to. I see a wonderful little boy who simply adores his sister, his grandparents, and most importantly….. tractors.

Wordful Wednesday ~ Photo Booth and my kids

I may have mentioned this a time or two but my kids love to play with PhotoBooth on my Mac especially when I walk away and leave it unattended. You never know what you’ll find when you open it up again…. for me it’s kind of fun to see what they’ve left for me.

Cait - 4 way

Caitlin seems to like the colorful pics! I’ll admit that I like to see the pictures she leaves me because she is much more serious than her younger sisters.


Now, Natalie here…. well there are more pictures of her than I can count in PhotoBooth. I mean there has to be close to 50 of them and every single one of them is silly and none of them serious.


Then we have Lauren the ham. I think that these pictures explain it all, don’t you think so too?

Andrew & Nat

And then there are the times that they get together and see what sort of mayhem they can create. This is when you should worry… multiple kids – siblings at that – playing together nicely. This is when I must go find out what they’re doing for fear of one of them hog tying the other… yes, this did happen.

Lauren & Nat

This one here… this proves that these two can get along once in a while. If they used half the energy they use when fighting for something else who knows what they could accomplish in the world!

Cait & Nat

I’ll admit that I take my laptop with me when I go camping…. and the girls got my laptop while we were camping this past summer. This is them in the camper snacking & being them….  and having fun!

Do your kids get a hold of your camera and take all sorts of pictures?


Today you are two

Today you are 2 Andrew.

Memories, milestones, and so much more has been achieved in the past year.

How do I summarize it all into one post, how do I explain all that you’ve done, all that you’ve accomplished? I don’t think that I can.

Andrew 3

My little baby is quickly turning into a little boy.

Every day he learns something new and changes in a little ways.

Every day his smile and laughter warms my heart.

Andrew 2

He makes everyone laugh, even his sisters who I know adore him greatly.

He’s a little sponge and seem to pick up some of the silliest things from them as well.

He is full of light and love and happiness.

Andrew 1

As we look ahead to the next year what new thing will you learn?

What new things will you teach us?

One thing that I’m sure of is that you are a true joy to us all and we love you more than you know.

Happy Birthday, Andrew.

What’s in a name

When I was pregnant with Andrew my husband and I (and the girls too) went back & forth so many times that I wasn’t sure if we would ever pick a name for him. We just couldn’t decide what to name the baby or I should say that we couldn’t agree on a name.

Before we knew what we were having we had a huge list of boy names and a smaller list of girl names and had to go through a process of elimination which… was very difficult! I seriously thought that once we had the baby that we would never be able to leave the hospital because we just couldn’t agree on a name or worse yet the nurse would have to name the baby. Scary thought, right?

Once we knew what we were having our list was narrowed down a bit. A boy. We were having a boy.

We made it through my entire pregnancy without a name or almost all the way through it. Then one day while at the circus, a mere 2 weeks before he was born,  a decision was made! Yes, you did read that right…. at the circus. No, we weren’t going to name the baby after one of the clowns or anything like that.

At the circus

My husband wanted to name him after himself…. a jr. and I wanted to name him Grayson and we just couldn’t find a happy middle ground. But it was my husbands grandmother who helped us out that day. She suggested that we name him Andrew… after her father. It was such an easy decision at that point! We finally had a name…. Andrew Noel. Andrew from my husbands side and Noel from mine.


Not Andy. Not Drew. Just Andrew. At least for now it’s just Andrew… maybe in time it will get shortened.

Did you have trouble picking a name for your baby? How did you & your spouse come to an agreement for a baby name?


This is a featured post written by me on behalf of Bounty. The opinions and story of naming my son are all mine.