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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Girlfriend Vows


My dearest friends, I promise you this:

I promise to know when an occasion calls for ice cream or wine and the wisdom to know when it needs both.

I promise to be honest. Never brutal. Never painful. But to tell it like I'd like to be told.

I promise to be me. Broken, open, raw, vulnerable me.

I promise to accept you. Broken, open, raw, vulnerable you.

I promise to not vacuum before you come over. Unless it is almost a health code violation and it is in absolute dire need of it. Only then.

I promise to always be kind to the person that you are in love with. Even, and especially when, I don't think he/she deserves you.

I promise to be in your corner for your battles.

I promise to let you know when I am struggling through a battle of my own.

I promise to celebrate your victories.

I promise to never order a salad when we go out to eat. Unless it is followed by nachos.

I promise to love your children.

I promise to support your choices, mighty and small, even if they don’t mirror mine.

I promise to laugh with you at all the appropriate times. And especially at the inappropriate ones. 

I promise that when life is slippery and fragile and hurts too much to keep going forward that you are not alone.

I will be there. I will listen.
I will hold your hand. 
I will dance with you.
I will cry with you.
I will toast with you.
And to you.

I will attempt to be all that you are to me.

I love you sister.
Always will.





Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Coffee Shop Thoughts...


Life is so very short.
Wear the red heels. Be present. Take a selfie in a faraway land and then put your phone away. Say thank you to your mother. Compliment a stranger. Put a pen or paintbrush to paper. Leave a mark. Tell a joke to a child. Let a child tell you a joke. Don't forget to laugh. Hold someone's hand. Learn to forgive. And let go. Listen to your gut. Love yourself first. Find a way to move your body every day. Read more books. Create something with your hands. Release yourself from guilt. Tell the people you adore why you adore them. Buy the coffee for the person behind you.
Tomorrows are not infinite.
Live out loud. Now.
Celebrate what sings to your soul. Now.
And smile.
Starting now.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Own It Sister

My four kids boarded the bus this morning. The first day of the last year at the same school. 5th, 3rd,  and 1st grade times 2. Just. Like. That. I was thinking that the stars would align again in high school; that they would share the same halls again, maybe pass one another in the cafeteria, to have one another's backs and limbs and be the protectors of each other, just in case. But Lucy that too smart girl straightened me out like she usually does and told me that when the twins start high school that she will be in college. COLLEGE. Sweet mother of all things holy. Back it up time. I can't handle the mere thought of saving for college, let alone that she will one too soon of a day be leaving for it.

Today as I watched that bus pull away lugging my favorite cargo, loud, booming and stunning, my thoughts turned to motherhood. The bittersweetness of it all. The being pulled in two directions like a marionette puppet of it all. The anchor of the roots, the releasing of the wings. The balancing act that somehow leaves you never feeling balanced. The dirty, clean, sick, healthy, arguing, giggling, late, sleepless, time too fast, time too slow, all encompassing gravity of it all.

Motherhood has the ability to heal us and make us bleed. Sometimes all at once. Your sensations are more awake while the mind is more asleep. You have a superhero sixth sense about you that allows you to feel all of the things. Every. Thing. You absorb it all: lightness and heaviness. Joy and heartache. Frustration, fierceness, closing and opening. It is all magnified.

And somehow we compare other mothers without thought. We judge like we have it all figured out. We judge like we are somehow perfect or our children are or that somehow that other mother is and who does she think she is. Like we've never had a rough day. Like we don't know what it feels like to be broken. Like we want to break someone else.

The new school year is an opportunity for a fresh start, not only for our children but for ourselves. How about we give each other a beautiful gift of judging one another less. We are all trying to keep our heads above the water and the last thing we need is more weight yanking us downward. The idea that someone else has it easier, faster, skinnier, richer and all things better than you is a destructive game that is based on perception. It is a game that no one wins. I'd rather see women owning their strengths and their weaknesses and raising a glass to one another in all that makes us different and the celebration of what unites us. We are all part of the same tribe and how glorious it would be to see every woman flaunt it.

If you are crafty, own it.
If you are working outside of the home, own it.
If you are working inside of the home, own it.
If you haven't figured out this whole being an adult thing, own it.
If you are insanely proud of your child, own it.
If you are just trying to survive the day, own it.
If you go to yoga or just prefer to wear the pants, own it.
If you order pizza for the 3rd time this week or you make your own organic baby food, own it.

Natural births, epidurals, c-sections, adoptions, surrogates, we have all earned our battle scars. It is not a competition. Be. Who. You. Are. And protect each others backs and limbs like you would want your children to protect one another. The world needs more of that. It is not a slight thing to see the power that is a woman supporting another woman. We can be inspired by one another without tearing another one down. Let's retract the claws and unleash the fist pumps. We all deserve the accolades.

As for me, you can find me sometimes in heels, more often in yoga pants, working in and out of the home trying to make careers out of passions, all the while glowing in the shadows of this radiant crew that is growing up faster than my soul can catch up. I want to raise them in a world that builds instead of breaks.






Here's to owning it.

Always...

Katie

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How to Survive Back to School Shopping



I am a girl that loves summer. I love a break from the constant crazy of the school year. But I have four kids and somewhere around the 4th of July it strikes me that it would be amazing to complete a thought in the next few months. By the time the first week of August rolls in I get excited, borderline orgasmic, in seeing those glossy ads with shiny new Ninja Turtle notebooks on their covers. But what is the best way to shop for 26 glue sticks (true story) and about 800 other items while still keeping your kids happy and you sane? Of course you could go alone or do it online and if you can pull it off I commend you. Godspeed. But my “angels” love to pick out all of things for back to school. All. Of. The. Things. I can’t really blame them. I used to love picking out things too as a kid but somehow I remember picking out a single Rainbow Brite pencil and one pink Trapper Keeper. 

The times have changed and the lists have grown to beyond a Santa level long. Last year I left Office Depot in tears. Actual stream down the face over the cost of dry erase marker tears. Here is what I learned:

1.    Go to Target. For three reasons: 1. They have everything you need. 2. They have everything you never realized how much you need. 3. Starbucks. 4. Palazzo pants. Okay that was four reasons. Math is hard. This is exactly why these kids need to go back to school.

2.    Go early. Have you ever been to the back to school section of any store that prides itself in having a back to school section in the prime heat of an August day? It is one of the scariest sites you will ever see. It literally could be a bad scene from The Walking Dead. Zombies are clenching their school’s token list, dressed in head to toe yoga wear wishing they were at yoga or anywhere else in the entire world mumbling about how many sharpened #2 pencils they need for their zombie children who are shouting that they need poly coated, one with prongs, four without, notebooks, the most expensive pencil pouch and they have to go to the bathroom. Simultaneously. Go early. Get yourself some caffeine and smile, one of the only people there mumbling will be you. 

3.    Get yourself something happy. First. I made the mistake this August of looking in the grown up palazzo pant section last. Like a fool. We’d already been at Target for 4 hours; khaki clad employees were getting off their shifts that we rode the escalator in with. There wasn’t one drop of patience left between the five of us for this grown up on trend pants smorgasbord. We had to abort. Never again will this rookie error occur. Live, learn, shop palazzo numero uno.

4.    Give each older child their own list and basket. It’s about time they started pulling their own weight. Cut up that giant list from hell into smaller lists of hell and let them have at it. It will be a scavenger hunt and the real winner will be you. It looks like someone will have 8 less composition books to seek out to and have more time to find the perfect 4” blunt end scissors for your first grader. Boom. Game changer.

5.    Don’t obsess over seeing the exact item cheaper somewhere else. This  is a surefire way to want to take one of those freshly sharpened #2 pencils straight into your eyeball. That 5 cent glue stick at your local office store seems like the greatest bargain of all time until you get in there and realize they charge triple for all of the other shit you “need” and you’ve spent hours analyzing the cost of glue sticks instead of enjoying these last moments of summer. All equals out in the back to school retail wars. Go to a place that can reward you with a latte beforehand and have time for a cocktail poolside afterward.

Here’s to a beautiful school year ahead and savoring the last taste of summer while it still within our grasp. And to the tireless teachers, I raise my glass to you. Thank you for always being more than we could hope for. I look at every item on that back to school list as one less thing that you have to purchase for your classroom. It is the very least we can do to begin to give back to you. Thank you is an understatement. In the future please feel free to include your favorite store to shop at (or your favorite cocktail) on those back to school lists so we can remember you throughout the year.

Here’s to the survival…

Katie


And this was the result. Momma's going to need something stronger than caffeine.


Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Survive Your Twins This Summer

WHOOP WHOOP! It's June! It's SUMMER!

Oh wait... you are a mother and every day is exactly the same as it was the day before. There is no summer break. There is no break even ahead in sight. Even a bathroom break happens with someone staring at your vajajay at all times. So what do you do when you need to escape the house before you lose it? Somewhere that could be entertaining to any one of you, somewhere overall free of danger and a place that doesn't have to completely welcome but won't turn away your cute yet destructive "angels." Does such a place exist? My warrior friends it does.  My twins are now 5 years old and these are the places that helped us all survive each and every summer.

1. The Water Park of an Amusement Park. I'm kidding. I'm laughing so hard at that one. Sorry about that. Just don't do it. The best time to take twins to the stressful circle of hell that is the water park is when they are old enough to drive themselves there. A much better option for young ones is the splash pad. Sprinklers and running, have at it mini ones. You'll actually be able to see them and look mom- no drowning!

2. Grandma's House. It doesn't matter where your mom or mother-in-law live. Go to them. Find a way. Not only does this woman adore your children, she allows you to do something amazing: sit down. She may even cook for you. She may even help you fold laundry. She may even have wine. Bonus: she babysits. My mom and mother-in-law are the reasons I've kept any shred of sanity in having four kids. If they weren't already taken, I'd want to marry them. Yes, both of them.

3. The Mall Play Area. Don't knock it until you've tried when it's free of snot. A lot of malls open before the stores for employees and high speed mall walkers that will want you and your cherubs to stay the hell out of their way or you will get stomped on. Don’t make eye contact and just beeline it to the tot area. There may even be an open Starbucks at that time. You can sit with a macchiato and live the dream baby. If you go during prime sun hours, please proceed at your own risk. One time long but not long enough ago, our pastor was walking by and I talked to him for approximately five seconds while I was confined with my twins inside the sweet, safe play area when he says to me, “I think she just stole something.” And there it was: my Sophia had escaped the play area, ran into Gymboree and was standing there smiling, holding a new tank on a hanger like we had brought it from home. So proud. Go before the stores open. Trust me. 

4. The Beach. Fo real. That place will wear your babies out which will equal the best nap ever. Go early (again, this is the theme of your entire successful summer) and avoid the crowds. It will be much easier to get a good spot and to be able to see them while they run in opposite directions. Those brilliant arm floatie things that strap in the back will be your best friends. I’m pretty sure there were two solid summers where my twins never took them off. We also used to bring a small inflatable baby pool to the beach that we nicknamed “the baby cage.” Throw a little water in it to entertain and cool them off and until they realize they can escape it, it will be bliss. And at that point hopefully it will be nap time.

5. Your Own Backyard. I know you want to get out, I know. I do too. But think of it this way- bubbles and a baby pool = you being able to sit down. You can even put some Kahlua in that iced coffee in a judgement free zone. And your commute will be so short when it comes to that nap; no one will be falling asleep in their car seat on your watch. And one day your twins will be five and their siblings will be eight and ten. And you will be so excited for summer days that begin and end in your own backyard. Instill that love of being outside at home early on and they will never fall short of what they can discover within it. Nowhere to be with time to be can sometimes feel like the best gift ever. The first key though is surviving it. The second key is enjoying it. It helps to always have a happy drink in your hand. 


So keep on treading dear mommas, you’ve so got this.

Happy summer and cheers to you…

Katie



Pre escape baby cage... actually this is one of my twins with my nephew. Sophia did already escape.
Two out of three ain't bad.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Girls and Boys of the World


Dear Girls and Boys of the World,

There are a few things that I think you need to know. The things that you aren't going to find in a textbook or a church or maybe even your own home. There is power in the dos and the don'ts in this world. And it is imperative to know the difference.

Don't apologize for your wildness.
Don't apologize for your voice.
Or what makes you different.
Or what makes you the same.
Don't apologize for your style
And your smile
And all that makes you feel alive.
Don't apologize for saying no.
Or yes.
Don't ignore your gut instincts
Or the things that make the hair on your neck stand tall
Or the things that make you feel fear before any other emotion.
There is an endless strength in listening to what makes you afraid.
Please do not blanket your fear.
You are not alone.
If you have never felt at home in the body that you are born with
you can grant yourself the strength, courage and power to change it.
Your body is yours. Your mind is yours. Your soul is yours.
Love out loud so long as you love yourself first.
You owe nothing to anyone.
If no one listens do not give up.
Do. Not. Give. Up.
You have a voice and a choice
and you deserve to be heard.
Please don't apologize or make excuses for the people that weigh you down and tear you apart.
It doesn't matter if this person is blood, honey or water.
They have no right.
You do.
Burying your own secrets has the power to break us.
And you have far more important things to break:
molds,
ceilings,
hearts,
expectations.
Own that voice.
Scream if you have to.
Whisper if you must.
Just don't be silent.
Be who you are.
Release the you that demands to be seen.

You are worthy of so much.
You are a spark in this world.
You bring the light.
You overcome the dark.
This is your time, your story, your stage.
Your life.

The world is ready for you.

Katie











Thursday, May 14, 2015

A May Love Note

I still have moments when I feel like I'm drowning. I know I shouldn't. But I do. Because it doesn't always get easier; it evolves into another place with higher expectations. There is so much running around you forget to breathe. I am so ready for all of the sports to be finished and all of the commitments of school and lunches and reading logs and making projects with hot glue and homework to be finished. I'm not so much ready for the kids to be all up in my grill again but to have open days and open nights and nowhere in particular that we have to be. That is bliss. And ironically it is the same thing that I had when they were tiny and I felt like I was drowning in a different type of way. Oh motherhood, you are one crazy bitch how you turn those tables. So in the inbetween and the trying to wrap up all of the things that need to happen in these next few weeks, if you stumble upon a love letter that one of those wild ones wrote and hid it among the chaos of your office with no other intention than to make you smile, allow yourself to do that. 

Smile. Breathe. Repeat. 

Know that you are loved deeper than you will ever realize. 

We got this. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PROTECT THIS HOUSE

I am a Maryland girl. I grew up about an hour north of Baltimore in the small town of Perryville. I currently live about 40 minutes south of Baltimore, outside of Annapolis with my husband and four children. My husband is a developer who works tirelessly to improve and restore worn down areas and buildings to beautiful structures of affordable housing and several of his projects exist in Baltimore. My brother-in-law is an Anne Arundel County police officer, one of the best in fact, with a wife and three young children to come home to and he has been working the streets of Baltimore for the last 8 days and nights.

I couldn't turn off the news until well after midnight last night because it isn't every day that a city that you know and love is on a national stage, albeit for horrific reasons. If there is ever a time to wake up and pay attention, it is now. My brother-in-law was at Mondawmin Mall. My sister-in-law didn't have contact with him for hours.

There are billboards and ads around Baltimore for Under Armour, a Maryland born and based brand that read "Protect this House" and the answer that follows is "I Will." Freddie Gray's family again and again asked for peace, to protect this house. The police have worked around the clock to restore peace, to protect this house. There were several Baltimore residents, former police, a Vietnam vet, lawyers and politicians interviewed that are doing everything possible to protect this house.

Those who seemed to not get the message were not all, but some of the media, coming into town for a day, maybe two who seemed like what they most cared about was who to blame for this happening, and it wasn't the ones destructing. Which politician let the ball drop? Who in power let Baltimore down? Who should we run over with our media buses again and again? It wasn't about the acts of the "protestors" but the acts of the politicians that seemed to take the forefront in their coverage. It wasn't about how we go forward but how we keep looking backward, casting stones at the mayor and those who want more than anything than to see Baltimore thrive.

Was it handled perfectly? No. 

But I will say that I was with my children at Camden Yards on Sunday, joining thousands for Little League day and the mood of Baltimore was of hope. It felt that the worst was over. It felt that people heard the family of Freddie Gray and protestors would back down and not match an eye for an eye. It was not anticipated that Monday would bring devastation of historic proportions. Our politicians are not perfect but they are not the ones that have set the city ablaze. By grilling them and looking backward you are only fueling anger and separating those with power and those that destruct all the more, dividing a city that yearns and needs to join together. You have a choice in what the public hears. You have the microphone. You can choose to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.

My brother-in-law said that there were 8 year olds throwing rocks and bricks at the police. He has an 8-year old and so do I. The image of a child destroying their own neighborhoods to attack the ones that are trying to protect it is not one I will ever understand or soon forget. 

Dear media, if you are looking for someone to blame for these events please blame those who have the rocks in their hands. The ones who teach children to throw the stones. Please don't be the ones caught with the rocks.

I tell my children when they are looking to cast blame in an argument that it doesn't matter so much who started the argument, but the one who is the bigger person and ends it. It is time to move forward on the road ahead, unite and be part of a rebuild, a rebirth. It is time Baltimore. It is time.

Let's protect this house.

I will.

Katie



Sunday.

Monday.


Today.




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Are Not Just a Mother

I need a favor from you, queen bee. I need you to stop saying that you are "just" a mother. I need you to stop right now. I need you to stop saying it in your future. Your child is so much more than just. Your life is more than just. You are so far beyond just... just doesn't deserve you.

Here is what you are (just in case you need the reminder):

You are
strong
stunning
amazing
nurturing
powerful
bold
a hope
a light
a vault
a believer
a dreamer
a warrior
the love
the glue
the glitter
the future.

And this is what you do (again and again and again):

you chauffeur
you work
you pay
you cook
you clean
you fold
you teach
you build
you create
you laugh
you play
you call
you answer
you listen
you speak
you inspire
you believe
you remember
you release
you forgive
you endure
you hold
you lift
you climb
you carry
you glow
you dream
you sacrifice
you cry
you bleed
you bandage
you spill open

you show up.

There is nothing slight about it. There is nothing just about it. You do not have time for the justs, the justifications and the judgements. You are doing the best that you can. And you are killing it.
Rock on momma.
You are extraordinary.
Thank you for showing up.

Cheers to us.



Thank you to The Honest Body Project for their stunning work and celebration of truth and motherhood.
This is beautiful Amiah with beautiful James. Not just a baby. Not just a mother.
So. Much. More.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Love Letter to my Mother-in-Law

Dearest Yia-Yia...

I feel like there are too many things that I haven't told you. I think that is the thing with super women. We just assume that they know how extraordinary their super powers are that we forget to voice them out loud. We forget that everyone needs to have their cup refilled (yes, your exact words that you've said to me). I think it is beyond time that I expressed my gratitude out loud for the way you love out loud. There aren't enough words or pages for all of the things so here is just a beginning.

You love my children. You say yes to them and dedicate whole days to the word yes. They know Yia-Yia is synonymous with laughter and play and swinging and all that is important in childhood. And adulthood. Whenever I am in doubt about the right decision of how to handle a situation with my kids I usually ask myself What Would Yia-Yia do? And that always finds a way to bring me to the right path; the happier path; the path of yes.

You love me. You love me like I was one of your own children which makes me feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world. You have been a therapist, a friend and a mother. You not only watch my children but you have slipped me money when I've gone out the door for girls weekends. You give the best gifts from shoes to clothes to Anthropologie happiness. I know love has nothing to do with the material but I am astonished by the thought behind each and every thing. I know that I haven't thanked you enough because I am the worst ever at thank you cards but I know your generosity is lined in it all. I myself am stitched together by flaws laced in hopeful intentions but you never point them out. You never make me feel like not enough but instead like I am a light and I am not alone. You have an understated way of making everyone feel like they have gifts in this world that need to be shined for all to see. You see all of our children's strengths, all of their gifts. Not to say that they don't each have their faults, of course they do, but what a hopeful world it is to just look for the good. That in itself is a gift of yours. It is not a slight thing to be able to see everyone's light.

You've shown me the love that is food. And that there isn't a situation in life that couldn't be improved by a glass of Chardonnay. You are a brilliant, bountiful and beautiful chef. You make the type of food that people yearn to be in your kitchen. You provide the company that people don't want to leave. And when they do they will not leave empty handed. I have not left your kitchen without at least 3 tupperware containers of your delicious food in the last 15 years.

You've given me your son. He is of course both of ours, for better or worse and I still call dibs on you should we ever get a divorce but when we got married, you handed him to me with grace. You handed him to me with hope. He will always be one of the best people I will ever meet in this world and that is to your credit. He is a strong man and he was raised by a strong woman. I am in awe of the tenacity in those genes and am grateful that blood that thick is coarsing through my children.

And there is you. Resilience personified. You take nothing lying down and you take it with a smile. You find humor in what others would hide from. You bring laughter with a side of spanakopita. Dirty jokes with wine. Strength with spirit. You do not let things break you. You overcome.

I hope that when I become a mother-in-law that I do half as good a job as what you have done for me. That would be the ultimate success. I know I never have called you Mom but that doesn't mean that I would ever consider you as anything else. Thank you. Thank you for everything. You will always be more than I could hope for.

Love you.
Always.

Katie


Friday, March 6, 2015

F#ck You Winter

Disclaimer: I am an eternal optimist. I see through rose colored glasses at a glass half full. I believe that everything will work out. Always.

But there comes a time every year when I stomp on those rose colored glasses and drop f-bombs out of my children's range of hearing. It happens around one of the last (sweet Jesus it better be) snow storms of the season in March. MARCH.

Fuck. You. Winter.

I curse Mother Nature and her angry bitchy ways. My kids had a two day school week this week. The last time they went 5 straight days was in mid-October. The weight of winter carries a burden that the heat of summer could never contend with. Winter feels limited and heavy. Summer is all things light and free.

I don't live in New England or Chicago or Alaska or a land that is known for a crazy long ass snow filled winter; I don't know how those people do it (seriously how do you do it?). I live in Maryland, a state of mild lovely seasons that embraces warm; a drinking state with a boating problem. I want to hear a bird chirp and a flower emerge and feel that moment of unzipping your coat and breathing in the light of the sun without the bitchslap of a chill to your bones.

I would have an orgasm today if that happened.

Today it is too cold to feel your face. Today your eyelids may freeze to your eyeballs. Today it is too cold for my husband's ATV to start so he can plow the driveway. He and my sons are old school shoveling it. It is actually orgasmic that he is outside and I am not. Thank you husband. I'm so glad I didn't stab you the other day when you asked what I did all day when all of the children were home on snow day #217.

So I've declared this day a day of gluttony and I will eat chocolate with a vengeance and drink wine like bikini season will never come. Who knows maybe it won't this year... fuck you endless dark stupid winter.

I've heard that you should wish for the people that you love enough cold days that you appreciate the warm ones. Done and done. Do you hear that Mother Fucking Nature? We surrender. You've granted us the winter wishes now we are ready for the spring ones. And we promise to be eternally grateful.

Until next winter.

Love and hope and red wine in the meantime...
xoxo
Katie






Friday, February 27, 2015

Gluten Free Granola Bars


Yesterday was snow day 117 here. I wanted to make something with my kids that would show them I love them and in the look at us we are cooking together way but not so far as I want to clean up the kitchen all day way. Enter these granola bars. No oven or sweat required. Really easy and even cost saving (those store bought gluten free bars can really add up). And there is enough for leftovers. So they can be reminded of the kitchen bonding again and again. Score one for team we can't even wait for spring...
cheers to almost March my friends.
xo


Gluten Free Granola Bars

adapted from Minimalist Baker


INGREDIENTS
1 cup packed raisins or dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey or agave)
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or sun butter 
1 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds (or chopped almonds)
1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats 
3/4 cup chocolate chips
           optional add-ins: dried fruit, vanilla, nuts, banana chips, flax seed, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS
1 Process raisins or dates in a food processor or Vitamix until small bits remain (about 30-40 seconds). It should form a "dough" like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball); can also add oats to help them process easier
2 Place oats, seeds and raisins in a bowl - set aside.
3 Warm maple syrup and sun or peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the raisins to disperse throughout.
5 Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8x8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
6 Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
7 Remove bars from pan and chop into even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh and they taste even more delicious the next day and can be eaten straight from the freezer. 



Thursday, February 5, 2015

An Imperfect Love Letter to my Kids

I know that I tell you I love you an endless number of times a day. I know I also raise my voice too much and I'm grumpy before I have had caffeine and I have high expectations of you and all of that is probably never ever going to change. So please remember this: I am beyond proud of you. I am overwhelmed with the luck that you were born to me. And I know that I don't tell you that enough.

Here are just some of the reasons of why my soul could burst with pride:

Because sometimes you say please and thank you without me having to ask you to.

Because you have a laugh that is stunning and contagious.

Because you sometimes remember to not pick your nose in the living room.

Because you are so kind.

Because if I wasn't your parent, I'd want to be the type of friend you'd want to have a sleepover with.

Because you sometimes choose to go to the bathroom indoors. In a toilet.

Because I don't really mind when you go outside. I'd still want to have a sleepover.

Because you show up.

Because you sometimes sleep until after 6:30 in the morning.

Because you don't mind when dirt is under your fingernails.

Because you keep on trying.

Because you are okay with wearing mismatched socks when I'm behind on laundry.

Because your heart is so big it can barely be contained in your body.

Because you appreciate the greatness that is an ice cream sundae.

Because you live out loud.

Because you help clean the bathrooms.

Because you love books.

Because you aren't perfect.

Because you know that I'm not either.

Because you've taught me more than I thought I was capable of learning.

Because you know that success isn't measured in dollars.

Because you know that joy isn't either.

Because you give the type of hugs that make me forget to exhale.

Because you are stubborn. Like your father.

Because you are smart. Like me.

Because you love a good party.

Because you run so fast when you get off the bus, like the front door can't come quickly enough.

Because you remind me to stop taking it all so seriously.

Because you draw and build and dance.

Because you see opportunity in a rainy Saturday.

Because you can dream things that the world needs.

Because you are light.

Because you are the future.

Because you have set fire to the past.

Because you have made my present.

Because of you, I know what pride is. I know what happy feels like.
And I get to be awakened and blanketed by all that is good. Every. Single. Day.

I love you. I am proud of you. For all that you do... thank you.

Always.
Momma





Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life with Twins


Here are snapshots of a life with twins. Here are just some of the priceless moments of our last 5 years with these babes in our world. And of course what we have learned...

To everyone with babes, one, two or oh so many more, stock up on the wine, laughter and caffeine friends. And don't forget to take pictures. 

Cheers...




There's a lot of cuteness. 

There's a lot of trying to be like pinterest. Until you realize every project will result in tears.


There's a lot of this.
And this. Sharing germs is our favorite. 

So is stealing electronics.

Life is a little bit messy. 



Or a lot. 



Don't worry Mom. We can find the jar of Aquaphor on our own. 

They're willing to try anything. Thanks Uncles. 

 
They will consume things that are not even close to being food.

Seriously...who keeps putting these diapers on? 

Duct tape = survival.

When you blink they will do this... 
The only time they prefer to wear clothing is actually the places where they're not supposed to.

    Potty training may have taken 3 years.

Dirt and nudity will find them wherever they go.

Is there really a better way to read?

Life is really all about the shoes.


And sometimes we are upset because we tried to put on too many pairs of underwear. 
Everything becomes a toy. Or a way to get onto a counter.

Or sometimes things are just in their way. Like all of these clothes that were in drawers.

Make-up is the most fun. Especially on Christmas. When we are hosting it. And momma hasn't put any on yet.

They will find a way to do anything.
Anything can become a swing.



 Or a new chair. Like this sink. 


Chairs are so much more fun if you don't wear pants. 
Pants are so overrated. 

They can do anything at all.

And everything at once.

They will find a way to get bruises and you have no idea what they did.

They literally exhaust themselves to the point of this.

They will find a way to escape. Always. 

    They will find a way.

And find the keys to the ATV.
Naked. 


And just when you think they will color on paper...


I swear we own clothes. 

Seriously it is that exhausting to keep up with your twin.


And then the next time you blink, here they are. Clothed and holding hands.
And you don't know how you all made it.
But you did.
And you try not to do anymore blinking because this journey is just the most fun.
And exhausting.
And you wouldn't want it any other way.