You made me a mom.


8 years ago today, you made me a mom.  You’ve been the perfect firstborn… a rule follower, easygoing – so pleasant and fun to be around.  You’ve made parenting easy (most of the time).  There are so many things that make me proud of you.


You work hard in everything you do – whether it’s math problems, long bike rides or learning sports.  You are always 100%.  You like to work at it until you get it perfect. I wish you weren’t so critical of yourself because you are so good at so many things and I hate when you get down on yourself.


You know when to push back and fight for your opinion and when to let things go. There’s never a fight when I say it’s time to get in bed or ask you to try new foods.  But if you feel really strongly about something, you’ll dig your heels in.  As frustrating as it can be, I secretly like when you stand your ground and fight for your way.  I know that skill will serve you so well later in life.


At age 8, you are already so good at reading people.  As I get riled up by something, (hypothetically Brooks is still upstairs after 3 requests to get in the car for church), I feel my anger rise up and I start yelling.  Then I feel a gentle rub across my back, and it’s you, trying to calm me.  You know just the buttons to push or words to say to get 5 extra minutes of cuddle time or a few more minutes shooting hoops before dinner.


I get a little lump in my throat when I think about you turning 8 (…halfway to drivers license status!)

You’re really turning into a young man now.  Your values and moral compass are mostly established and these next years it’s a lot of me letting go of the reins and allowing you start figuring it out on your own.  Seeing you become more independent makes me realize how much my role is changing.  It’s bittersweet because I love your growth but also already miss some of your boy-ish needs.

You’re growing into a strong, well-rounded, amazing young man and I am proud of you every single day.

I love you Landy Pandy, Bubba, Boo, Sweet Thang.

Happy Happy 8th Birthday!



Brooks and I riding in the car together.

B: Mom, how do you know if you are going to go to jail or get a ticket when a policeman pulls you over?
M: Well, it depends on what you do. If you are speeding or don’t use your turn signal, you’ll probably just get a ticket.  But if you don’t stop when they pull you over or if you are drinking and driving, they will take you to jail.
B:  (I see him in the rear view mirror and his eyes get big with concern.) Well, Mom, they are going to take dad to jail, because he’s always drinking and driving.
M: Well, it only matters if you’re drinking alcohol, water and soda are ok.


Having a conversation at the dinner table asking my kids what sport they want to play in the fall.

B: I’m going to play tackle football.
M: No, I’m not going to let you play tackle football. First, I don’t even think tackle football is an option for kindergartners.  You’re too little.  Second, there are many other sports you can choose including flag football, but I’m not comfortable with how aggressive football is.  There is too much of a chance of brain or other serious injuries in that sport.
B: Well, when I turn 18, I’m an adult and then I can choose if I want to play tackle football.
M: You sure can.
B: And I’ll probably start playing tackle football and then go to the NFL.
M: I’m not sure how many NFL players start playing when they are 18, but give it all you got!

Four Generations

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a picture of the 4 generations of our family.

What a special thing that my kids will grow up knowing and spending time with not just their grandparents, but their great grandparents, too.

These boys sure are two of a lucky few.

4 generation sm

Just spending time at their basketball games with Papa, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.

Valentine Thanks to my Main P

Dear Valentine:

I don’t say it enough but I am so thankful for you.  I know I’m so lucky to be matched with you.  In the day-to-day grind of life, it’s easy to let the little things slip through the cracks without showing a bit of gratitude.  So for Valentines Day I want to appreciate some of the small things:

  • Your ability to be late.  I know, it’s always because of me.  I always try to cram “just one more thing” in, which makes us even later.  Thank you for adjusting to my crazy and going with the flow.
  • For control of the remote at bedtime.  I know how much you love tv, but I love how you let me choose the show most nights.  (This is probably because you know you’ll be lights out 10 minutes after your head hits the pillow, but I’m going to keep thinking it’s because you love me.)
  • The way you make our kids feel.  You don’t know how many times during my tuck in’s the the boys say that the highlight of their day was related to you playing with them or spending time with them.  You make them feel so special, so often.
  • For all the Relationship Inventories and Cozi Lists. I know that I’m a little crazy when it comes to these things. I know I like to talk about plans and to do lists and you don’t. But you do it for me.
  • For letting me pursue my goals.  You’ve never once said my goals were out of reach or I was spending too much time working on them, you just give me the room and space to make sure I have some time to focus on things that are important to me.  I probably don’t reciprocate enough in this area and I really appreciate how much support I have from you.

While I know you’re much more likely to quote a “romantic” line from Wedding Crashers than The Notebook,  I appreciate the uncommon, “romantic” ways you make me feel so loved.

Happy Valentines to my P!



Valentines love for my boys


Dear Boys (aka my mini Valentines),

Valentine’s is a day to celebrate love.  Or as Brooks put it, “a day where people don’t hate each other”.

I love you guys… a lot.  However, I’m noticing that we’re fast approaching the age where you don’t reciprocate Mom’s love and affection as much as you used to.

I see the way you pull your hand away slightly when I try to hold it in the grocery store.  Cuddles are “just ok” now where they used to be in the top 5 of your favorite things!  You’ve clearly demanded that I not go anywhere NEAR your bus stop (for fear I’d embarrass you to death).  And any lunch dates at school have been nixed.

Little by little, time is slipping away and you’re moving from boyhood into young manhood.  I’m not ready!  I still want the cuddles and handholding. I want to be your #1 Girl (for at least 5-10 more years)! I want you to love being seen with me, even when your friends are around 🙂

It’s funny to look at life and see how it’s changing while you’re in the midst of change.  Of course, so much good is coming from your independence.  But this little piece of it, it breaks my heart.  It’s just the tiniest hint of what it will be like the day you walk out the door for college, or you head down the aisle and we have our mother/son dance.

It’s a reminder that this life will continue to fly by and I have appreciate every minute/milestone/memory I can.

So happy “day where people don’t hate each other”!  I’m going to soak in every single one of these I get with you.

Love, Mom

Big Goals

My kiddo has big goals.  In 2018, my second grader wants to make $100,000 (down from his original $300,000 goal). #weak

And while most 7 year olds want to try harder at activities like tying shoes, learning the rules of soccer or reading chapter books… mine wants to start bodybuilding. 😉

resol L

I’d love to see what the other kids in his class came up with.  I guess Landon’s role models are Hugh Jackman and John Cena? #buffrichguys

Don’t you love to see the answers your kids give to questions like this? It’s so funny to see how their little minds work.

Married at 19.

My parents got married at 19.

Today they celebrate anniversary #37.


This means they’ve spent 2/3 of their life together.  That’s a huge commitment.  I’d argue that it’s really hard/impossible for them to remember what life is like without each other.  When you get married at 19, there are a lot of years ahead of you, and you haven’t had many years to figure out who you are as an adult, separate of your parents. I think people change a lot from their teens to 30.  You face situations that change you and force you to grow into your own person.

I think one of the best lessons they’ve passed along to us over the years ties to that.  That although they got married to each other at 19, they’ve remained married into their 50s.  To do that, you have to be willing to give your mate the freedom to grow and change.  They aren’t the same person they were standing at the end of that aisle.

So often, the reason listed for a divorce is “irreconcilable differences” – which basically means, we were once compatible but one or both of us has changed to the point where we are no longer a fit.

My parents have worked through a lot of differences over the years.  However, they’ve made the choice to make them reconcilable differences.  My mom’s had to loosen her expectations on punctuality and organization.  And my dad’s had to tighten his priorities in these areas.  They’ve had to find a tender balance between kids/grandkids, marriage, work and fun.

They’ve also had to give each other grace and room to grow as individuals at age 20, 30, 40 and 50.  Allowing their spouse room to change.  When you wait to get married until you are 30 or 35 – you’ve had the opportunity to discover for yourself who you want to be without having to worry about how this might impact your marriage and your spouse.  Instead this discovery was something they had to do together.

I’m proud of the way my parents have made their marriage work, by accepting (and even appreciating, at times) the way their partner is changing and evolving.  It’s a lesson to me for how I need to treat my own marriage – giving room for Dean to change and not expecting him to be the same Dean I met when I was 20 years old or who I married when I was 27 years old.  Giving him grace for the gaps in our expectations of each other.  And supporting him as he grows into the person he’s becoming.

So cheers to you mom and dad! I hope Dean and I can rock it at our #37 the way you have!