Mommy’s a Republican

I did it. I voted on Tuesday [in the Pennsylvania primaries]. And of course, like 98% of the rest of Facebook addicts, I posted about it on my Facebook profile. And of course, like the proud Republican I am, I put it out there. Eventually, I put it out there who I was supporting in my vote because I don’t really want any part of the blame come November. And eventually, as expected, the questions came about how did I make a decision this primary and why would I be a Republican.

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You know. Because there is no way an ex-teacher, a mom who used to be a single mom, a woman who has been abused, a woman who went to a women’s college, a woman who is the primary breadwinner, or a woman or human in general should be a Republican. Because they are awful and all that, right?

Well, those reasons are all supported in my values and beliefs and somehow, some way align with the Republican party. Shocker? Not to me.

You see, I am a fourth generation (ex-Allegheny County) Republican woman. Nope, my mom didn’t brainwash me to be a red-card carrying lady. Neither did her mom or my great-grandma. We are just proud women who can also be Republicans…and women who know that 95% of the time, the choice of [our] red versus [everyone else’s] blue doesn’t matter.

Because we are the women who love without blinders. We have family members who are single parents, LGBT, atheists, and march to the beat of their own drum but we love them for being themselves and don’t judge like we’ve been judged for being Republican women. We raise[d] our children to do the same. We fight for feminism and have done the “dirty work” of playing the gender card and being the breadwinner (between us four: a restaurant owner, a Rosie-the-Riveter, a Westinghouse computer builder, and an IT Geek) at some point in our lives. But this isn’t about my mom, grandma, or great-grandma. It’s about me.

 Guess what, kids?

Mommy’s a Republican.

Mommy’s a Republican because she can be. Because this country was founded on freedoms, on rights and standing up for your beliefs.

Haven’t I had a hundred reasons to make that R on my vote stub a D? Of course. But because deep down I know what I believe, I still (and maybe more than ever as I age), believe it.

I used to be a teacher. Don’t I care about kids’ education? There’s always going to be something parents hate about the way kids are taught, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. Kids are taught these days on concepts that we parents may never get, but what matters is that the kids get it. I survived teaching in the NCLB days. Well, kinda. I did walk out on my 2nd grade classroom of 20 kids who were of varying levels of abilities (from a pre-k to a 5th grade level reader) mid-year, but that’s based on my next point. Were there tests and things that made it tough? SURE. But guess what? I still am tested, we all are, in our day to day lives on how well we’re doing. So a kid doesn’t pass his first round of MAP testing. We’ll figure out exactly what he needs and help him get better. Big deal. It’s what I got paid to do. Education is a chance for every child and is much more than what happens in the classroom.

I was a single mom who was faced with the choice of abortion, adoption, or keeping my baby. That child was the result of my abusive relationship, so why would I align with a party that “allows” men to be aggressive and abusive and get away with rape and violence? Oh, there is so much to be said about this one. Let me take a breath.

Thank you.

I don’t know that I’ve talked about my choice when I first found out I was pregnant, but at 24, I had to make that choice. I did it (almost) all by myself, with my big girl pants on. Over sharing a pack of Ramen noodles because we were so stinkin’ broke, my roommate (a Democrat, mind you) looked up the cost of my first prenatal visit versus the cost of an abortion and she and I immediately need the right choice was to keep this baby. God, I am so freaking glad I did. That ‘lil girl challenges me, but let me tell you, she’s a precious gift. Up until that night in February of 2008, I was pro-life. Now the fact that I’ve even remotely considered it, I guess I have to be pro-choice but gosh dangit as a mom of four precious, amazing babies who I’ve loved from (almost) the moment I saw two pink lines…I can’t even. It takes me back to my days alongside the road with my (GASP!) Democrat Dad with pro-life signs, standing beside my cousin and a friend, both who soon after became teen moms and are both amazing moms to their kids thank you.

And about that guy. Well, you see, I was scared out of my mind and decided not to press charges and that is on me. But justice for all means that women who face what I did don’t have to be scared. The Republican Party stands for the reduction of crimes and protection of the weak and vulnerable. And the thing is? These people guilty of crimes can change. I’ve heard that guy has changed and good for him. It doesn’t mean I don’t live with and take to God every single day the pain and hurt of what happened to me, but it helps. I would love to see solid proof where my party actually glorifies rapists, predators, and abusers, please. But maybe not on my blog wall ‘cause someday this will be for my kids. I know – I started it!

 But didn’t going to Chatham change you? Didn’t you have every women’s college attendee’s experience and become a feminist? Nope. I didn’t go to that school because of it being a women’s college (and it no longer is). I didn’t become a feminist there, I was already one before. I grew up believing in my right to be an independent woman and to have my own thoughts. Boys were constantly getting picked ahead of me for everything and it made me so mad, but I made sure to prove why the choice wasn’t right. Did it change me? Sure. I grew up in small town America, never really meeting or getting to know anyone who was “different” on a deep level. But I wasn’t shocked to be thrown into the heart of it in college. It didn’t change me or make me resent my party. It made me fall deeper in love with my value of self-reliance.

But you’re married to a man who stays home with the kids and you bring home all the bacon. Yup. I am and I do. Because family is what is really important to me. Greg and I might not see eye to eye on our values or political party (in fact, if he reads this post, we may not speak for an hour or two). But I have a fiscal responsibility to my family and my country and I think we all have that. Greg would be working too if not for the twins needing full-time care and us not having horrible experiences with daycare in the past. That’s our choice, and we do what we do because it gets us by as a family.

Honestly, we give a lot. We give to missions, and church, and societies like United Way, American Heart Association, and American Cancer Society because we can. But we also give a lot in taxes to families who don’t have what we do. I really struggle with this one because I frankly work my butt off and know that almost 15% of what I am working for doesn’t buy food for my kids or pay for the mounting medical bills that I have since “affordable care” came into play. It’s going to families who may not be able to work (and I’m glad to help them) and others who are totally able but don’t (and trust me, this isn’t just some Republican rhetoric here – I know people who had great lives / jobs and then wouldn’t take a job at a retail store or restaurant because it was beneath them and collecting unemployment then welfare was a better option). I’m sorry, but maybe I am not. We covered the fact that I give to those in need, and I pray for them. I genuinely wish life could be better for about 85% of the people getting my measly 15%, but it’s the other 15% that make me wish for a little bit of a break. There’s a culture there, and it’s time we turn that around as a country and raise these families up out of the darkness of poverty.

But I do have a responsibility to my country. To ensure my leaders, both Republican and Democrat, are paid to lead us. To ensure the roads I drive on are maintained. To pay for the schools my children go to. I shouldn’t accept all these things as my given right as someone who lives on this ground. My ancestors could have stayed in Germany, England, Ireland, or Scotland and I’d never known what these freedoms were like. Or, my parents could have moved to Canada and I’d be dealing with “free” healthcare, 15-18% tax on EVERYTHING plus my salary, and wait 7 hours in an emergency room pregnant with a kidney infection while kids with toe scrapes and big hairy men with hangnails got “fixed” only to be told they couldn’t see me because I was an American and they can’t assist pregnant women who aren’t Canadian. (Though don’t get me wrong – this system does have its benefits – it just didn’t seem so awesome to me when I tried to get help.)

Aren’t you human? I know that last point kind of escalated, but yes, I am human. And that’s the beautiful thing. I am human because of a God who loves me and has blessed me so, so, so very much to have the life I do. I’m thankful every day for this. It really boils down, for me, to God and country. I am so proud to be an American, especially a Christian in America. Don’t think we aren’t persecuted. “Oh, you go to church, you can’t come hang out with us at happy hour” might be mild compared to what others go through, but I’ll leave my personal struggles with things I’ve heard growing up a pastor’s kid and trying to find just the right church for another day. Yeah, you can probably say I carry a white privilege card. I just try to live ethically and with love to all around me. My relationship with God, the one who gave us these rights, is what keeps me calm and allows me to muster up the strength to fight the battles that I have, too. We all have them. And we should all just love one another.

Regardless of that R or D. But for now, that’s where I stand. And I hope my kids all make their own informed decisions, just like I have.

Oh, election years. Giving me blog fodder since my first vote in 2004. Chatham College Republicans, how I miss thee.  

Posted in Becky (Mrs. Burgher) | Tagged | 1 Comment

Naot Gives Back

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. Today’s post is brought to you by Naot Gives Back.

What’s not to love about shoes? Even better when those shoes bring good things to this crazy world, right? Next weekend, you have a chance to do just that with the Naot Gives Back event happening at Littles Shoes in Squirrel Hill.

On behalf of Naot Footwear, we would like to invite you to the Naot Gives Back Donation Event at Littles Shoes!

This event allows us to combine two things that we love, fashion and helping those in need. Everyone invited to attend the event will be able to contribute to the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry just by simply trying on shoes. Try on a pair of Naots, we will donate a pair to those in need. If you buy a pair, we will donate two pairs. It’s fashion for a cause!

Easy peasy, right? I’m hoping that I will see some of you there. The event runs from Friday, April 22 at 9:30 AM until Sunday, April 24 at 5:00 PM. Try on a pair of shoes and a pair is donated to someone in need. How can you go wrong?

Photo Feb 16, 2 20 00 PM (1)

Naot Gives Back Event Details

Where: Littles Shoes, 5850 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217

When: April 21 and 22 from 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM and April 23 from noon – 5:00 PM

Website: littlesshoes.comnaot.com

Social: #NaotGivesBack / @naotfootwearfacebook.com/Naotfootwear

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Personally, I am hoping to try on and bring home that purple/teal sandal below. Arianna was checking out the women’s shoes on the Naot website and proclaimed that SHE needed them. Sure, the shoes are beautiful and handpainted and will go great with so many of my summer outifts, but need is a strong word, friends.

We talked about how I’ll be trying on the shoes, maybe buying a pair, and then in turn someone who really needs a pair will get a pair. Pittsburgh’s not immune to people in need, and I always get good feels when my family and I can help out, just by doing things we’d do anyways.

Naot Gives Back

Photo Courtesy of Naot Footwear

Hope to see you there.

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The PR Firm that invited me to next weekend’s event shared this information: The mission of the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry is to end food poverty in their community by addressing the immediate food needs of those who are struggling with hunger and giving Food Pantry clients the help and support they need to address the underlying cause of their food insecurity.

Posted in Giving Back, Pittsburgh Fun | Leave a comment

Lantern Fest

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. Tonight’s post is thanks to Lantern Fest, an event coming to Pittsburgh in May 2016.

Lantern Fest

Two years ago, the Bigs and I got to witness one of the coolest closing events of a wedding ever, a sky filled with lanterns. They chose to light lanterns and release them into the sky because “historically, Chinese Lanterns have been used to symbolize good fortune, request favorable weather, and celebrate the lives of loved ones” (I got my information from the Lantern Fest, but same reasoning for our friends big day).  The release was spectacular – we ooo’ed and aww’ed — watching several lanterns lift into the late evening sky.

Because it was so amazing, I was all the feels when I was asked if I’d heard of Lantern Fest and wanted to go to the Pittsburgh event (coming SOON!). Well, YES!

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Our Friends Lighting Lanterns at their sister’s wedding

Because, seriously. Isn’t light just amazing? Don’t you remember that I cried when I found out my church lit lanterns on Christmas Eve and I wasn’t there? So you know I won’t be missing this event, right?

Alright. I’ve clearly convinced you that you should join us, right? Well, if not, here’s some more official information from a press release on March 22:

Lantern Fest

Photo Courtesy of Lantern Fest

Chinese Lanterns Illuminate the Sky: The Lantern Fest comes to Pennsylvania this spring

Last year thousands of lanterns illuminated the sky when more than 8,000 revelers gathered at the Poconos for the Lantern Fest. On May 14, the spectacle will travel west and make a stop in Pittsburgh. Event organizers expect thousands to join together at Lernerville Speedway to celebrate life and make memories.

“Pittsburgh is an exciting addition to our 2016 schedule,” says event director Spencer Humiston. “The event unifying and one of the most visually stunning things you have ever seen in your life. Pittsburgh will love it!”

When gates open at 4 p.m., families can settle in to roast s’mores, decorate their lanterns, and enjoy entertainment, including: a stage show, face painters, princesses, inflatables, and live music. After sunset, participants will come together to release their lanterns, painting the sky gold with their hopes and dreams.

“This event is unique because it appeals to people of all ages,” said Lantern Fest spokeswoman Amy Gessel. “It is not often that an event encourages participation from the youngest children to senior citizens and everyone in between. It means something different to each participant but can be enjoyed by all.”

A portion of event proceeds will be donated to Angels of America’s Fallen. This non-profit organization provides funds and supplies for mentoring children of fallen police, military and other first responders.

What to Know When You Go

Lantern Fest Kit

Photo Courtesy of Lantern Fest

If you’re convinced and would like to attend Lantern Fest here are the details:

  • When: Saturday, May 14, 2016. You can start to grab your spot at 4:00 PM.
  • Where: Lernerville Speedway, Sarver, Pennsylvania (about 25 minutes north of downtown Pittsburgh)
  • Tickets: You will need to buy Lantern Passes online. (Current pricing is $35 per pass — you’ll need one per adult / $5 for children ages 4-12 / FREE for 3 and under.) But keep reading for a discount code! 
  • What’s Included: Each pass includes a lantern, marker, s’mores kit, and lighter. The Kid’s Pass will include entrance and a gift. The event will also include food, live music, princesses, face painting, and more. Lanterns will lift into the sky at sundown.
  • Where to find out more: Lantern Fest is on Facebook / More information (including other locations) is available on their website, thelanternfest.com.

Let it Glow

Lantern Fest

Photo Courtesy of the Lantern Fest

Hopefully you will grab a blanket and join my family and I at this beautiful event. I know we have some lives to celebrate, some memories to be made, and some requests for good weather to lift up. *wink* If you are able to, let me know…but also head over to thelanternfest.com/location/pittsburgh/ and use code lilburghers10 for 10% off.

We’re excited, and we hope you will be, too.

Posted in Pittsburgh Fun | Tagged | Leave a comment

Her and Her Guy

On Saturday, Arianna had her first school dance. She was to ask her “guy” (be it dad, uncle, grandpa, neighbor – awesome work, Armstrong School District!) and take him to the dance.

It was hands-down clear that she’d be taking her guy, her Daddy. Following the hustle and bustle of the twins’ birthday party, these two got to escape for a few hours of fun together.

I’m so glad she’s got this guy in her life. xoxo

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Posted in Arianna ('lil Miss A), Greg (Mr. Burgher) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Xfinity Moms

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post is part of the Xfinity Moms program and is brought to you by Comcast and Xfinity.

Xfinity Moms

Me and the Pittsburgh Xfinity Moms

 

Xfinity Moms

I am a modern mom, so when Dana asked me to join her and four other mom bloggers from Pittsburgh at Comcast’s McCandless Crossing Xfinity store, it was an obvious YES. Sure, I had 500 other things going on that week, but I knew this event (about ways to connect your family with technology) was going to make it all worth it. And oh, did it.

As a Comcast customer, I thought I knew a lot about the services available. Apparently, I was living under a rock and not as modern as I thought because there was so much good information. Several of you have already asked me for more info in person, and for those of you who haven’t but are wondering, here are four awesome takeaways I got from meeting with the incredible team at Comcast.

Reason One: The X1 Platform is No Extra Fee

You’re sitting at home watching your local team win their home opener (YES!) and it’s fuzzy. What do you do? A) Call Customer Service. B) Don’t call because surely it will mean more money out of your pocket each month. The answer is A, my friends.

X1 is a cable TV platform that will revolutionize your TV watching experience. As I watched Greg Wells (of Comcast) demonstrate how to use it to find what you like to watch, connect with other shows that are similar in taste, or watch what is trending on Twitter, I KNEW that I had to go home and tell my husband we needed the upgrade. I sat there dreading the fee, but then Greg said it was no extra cost. I believed him, but had to see it for myself.

After the event, I headed to the customer service counter and walked out of the store with a brand new HD DVR box that was on X1 and a service order to send my old box back. Why? Because there was no extra fee (compared to what we were already paying // HD and DVR are each additional charges, as are extra boxes for other rooms).

Check out the cool visual guide!

Check out the cool visual guide

With that new box, we’ve been watching more TV this weekend than we had in the past year and 5 months of being customers. Totally sounding lazy, but that’s to say that our cable was used for about 5 hours the last three days. I can’t think of the last time we actually watched cable. All those months of paying for it and not using it are gone.

What’s included that wow’ed me? 

  • Xfinity Remote with Voice Control – fun and easy way to search for networks, shows, and movies
  • Specially Tailored-for-TV apps – our favorite is the weather app that you can pop open on top of whatever you are watching but still see the show you were on
  • X1 DVR with cloud technology – this means you can stream recordings and live television on your devices.
Xfinity

Emily demonstrated watching something else on an iPad while the kids are watching the big screen!

Reason Two: Kids Zone

I basically melted into a pool of drool when the team showed off Kids Zone. My kids are IN LOVE which I am so thankful for. I’m able to give them a secure place to watch THEIR shows (no more pranksters and that guy who lives in a pineapple under the sea – because I can even block kid shows in Kids Zone!). They explore on their own and I have no worries. Well, until they learn my pin.

Greg Wells (of Comcast) calls it “Parental Controls on Steroids”. 

 

Reason Three: Xfinity Home

My husband is super security focused, so I’m kind of surprised he hadn’t told me about how Comcast’s home security, control, and energy management platform could help us stay connected to home when we aren’t there. (You can find out more here: Xfinity Home)

Johnyne Hoyes was able to show us live camera feeds of her house while she was on the job telling us about how we could do the same. She knew her family were home from their daily outings and was able to turn the lights in the kitchen on and off right there in the store. Some call it “simple control at your fingertips” while others, like Johnyne, call it “Mommy’s always watching!”.

THIS makes me happy and makes me want to spend the extra dollars a month (and likely then save on energy and insurance). Not that I don’t trust my husband as a Stay At Home Dad to do all the things on our honey do list…but I can check in and make sure things are going just right OR we could have some extra comfort knowing that my parents aren’t trying to go up the stairs with both girls in their arms (a feat only twin parents should attempt). Even better? It’s secure. Comcast has AWESOME team members in their IT department and they’ve not been hacked.

Some fun things you can do with Xfinity Home:

  • Turn on your coffee pot in the morning when you’re just about done getting dressed
  • Set a rule to send a photo via text between 3 – 6 PM when your front door opens (no teens sneaking friends in after school!)
  • Adjust the temperate of your home when you forget because you’re rushing out the door to catch a flight to vacation and forgot to turn the AC down
  • Watch the kids in the backyard while you work on dinner in the kitchen
Xfinity Home

Xfinity Home Equipment options

If you aren’t ready to jump all in yet – we’re not quite ready – take a look at these tips to keep your home internet network safe (from Comcast’s Voices Blog). 

Reason Four: FREE Apps to Stay Connected on the Go

Admittedly, my phone is like the 7th member of our family. It goes everywhere I go, because as a modern mom I am always connected. With the suite of eight apps from Xfinity, this is just going to get even better.

Xfinity customers can add Xfinity Apps on their mobile devices to share photos and videos securely, enjoy their favorite shows while away from home, monitor home activity (see above about Xfinity Home), and more.

Xfinity Apps

One of my favorite free apps, Xfinity WiFi, was highlighted by Comcast’s Zac Gault. He showed us a map of Pittsburgh and were all the free WiFi hotspots in the area were. There are so many free WiFi spots throughout our city that you can start saving on your cellular data, too. “Get all the hotspots out there,” Zac said.

So to summarize, being an Xfinity Mom that’s in the know about all of the cool things Comcast is bringing to Pittsburgh is going to help me stay connected with my home and family, save money, and keep me relaxed while I enjoy my favorite shows. Sounds like exactly what this busy mom of four needs, right?

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Xfinity

I literally was stunned at how small the 2nd Receiver box is!

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, head over to any of the local stores and check out the services and packages I’ve mentioned. You can talk about your current services, like I did with Mike, and get exactly what you need. (Mike was even able to help me save when he realized we hadn’t been using a rented modem because we had bought our own. We said goodbye to that piece of equipment and saved money by doing so.)

Greg and I are so happy we decided to say goodbye to our old Digital Economy basic box and say hello to X1! (In the spirit of honesty – we had a small mix-up with the device I grabbed at the store not being compatible with our service area, but after an AWESOME experience with a technician installation on Friday – less than 24 hours after I called in – we had beautiful picture and fully functioning service! Comcast Customer Service win!!!)

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Goodbye, old box! Time for us to enjoy some shows and football! :)

 

Posted in Pittsburgh Fun, Product Reviews, Tech Tuesday | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Twins!

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Photo: laurierphotography.com

Yup. That’s pretty much how I feel.

Today is the twins’ birthday. It’s been the fastest year ever. Wasn’t I just pregnant with them? I thought so.

Photo: laurierphotography.com

Photo: laurierphotography.com

Both of the girls continue to amaze me every day. We celebrate them today, and look forward to many more milestones.

Photo: laurierphotography.com

Photo: laurierphotography.com

Girls, Mama loves you. xoxo xoxo

Photo: laurierphotography.com

Photo: laurierphotography.com

Posted in Baby A, Baby B, Twins | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Ultimate Soccer Mom Guide

Today’s post comes from Elizabeth of Try it and You May!, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Orange Chair Blog, where I give my thoughts from my Orange Chair.

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Elizabeth’s thoughts are right in line with what’s ahead of me…life as a soccer mom! Arianna and Evan start next week, so I asked for advice. Thanks, Elizabeth!

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Being a “soccer mom” used to be considered an insult by many. Thanks to the success of U.S. Women’s National Team, being a Soccer Mom is now the coolest thing around. Sadly, there are some moms out there who are still nervous about assuming their rightful place on the sidelines and on the pitch because they didn’t know the game. I know how those moms feel. I used to be one of them.

I am a Soccer Mom and I love it. Being the Ultimate Soccer Mom isn’t just about cheering from the sidelines, it’s about learning to love the Beautiful Game. I love watching it live and on TV. I love playing it in my backyard with my kids. I love following hottie soccer guys and gals on social media. So if your goal is to be the Ultimate Soccer Mom, here are ten tips to help you get started. With a little soccerifice, you, too, can be an Ultimate Soccer Mom.
1. Dress appropriately. Get yourself some sweet soccer kicks and a fab jersey. I recommend one from the U.S. Women’s National Team, but there are some excellent choices out there.

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2. Get some skills. Practice your toe taps, your shakers, your juggling. Learn how to nutmeg (that means kicking the ball between your opponent’s feet). Nutmeg your kids often and shout “Nutmeg!” Do it in flip-flops against your competitive older son for extra points.

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3. Learn the offsides rule. This is a tricky one for non-soccer-players (also known as Soccer Muggles). It’s not that hard. The offense can’t pass the ball to a player who is past the last defender. Once you’ve got it, realize it’s never called in little kid’s games but feel free to mention it casually like, “Great game honey, don’t worry, that last goal by the other team was offsides anyway.”

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4. Develop a signature celebration. This is an essential part of your training. As you play with your kids and develop your ball handling skills (Have you nutmegged your child today?), you need to be prepared to celebrate when you score a goal. You should not jump up and down and cheer. You could work on a variation of the airplane swoop, or maybe the jazz hands shake, or leap into your teammate’s arms (if they can catch you), or even imitate Ronaldo’s matador-style “leap and shout” move. Make it memorable.

 

5. Always have money for the snack bar and be prepared for rain. They still play in the rain. This isn’t baseball.

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6. Make sure you and your kids know Messi and Wambach, Ronaldo and Lloyd. This sport turns men and women athletes into legends.

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7. Be patient while they select the perfect pair of cleats or “boots.”

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8. Don’t let your kid be a diver (someone who fakes injuries). Sure, they might get hurt. Your five year old might even get kicked in the face by their mom on Mother’s Day. But hey, they said they wanted to be goalie! And it’s important not to perpetuate those “kick like a girl” stereotypes!!

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9. Take them to a Pittsburgh Riverhounds game. Serious family fun and up-close action.

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10. Be your soccer playing kid’s biggest fan. Don’t worry about whether they are good or not. Just make sure they are having fun and that you are out there having fun with them.

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Bonus Tip #11: Face Paint and Faux-hawks are Ultimate.

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Check out the other bloggers involved in today’s event!

Harvest + Bloom // Yes, Wear That! // jelly jars // Glam and Graffiti // To The Streets // In Pursuit // Pittsburgh & Pearls // Beezus Kiddo // Goodness Madness // Last Minute Panic // Steel City Intrigue // Crank Crank Revolution // Amanda Narcisi // Pittsburgh is Beautiful // From Cats to Cooking // Yum Yum PGH // Breelicious Bites // Parmesan Princess // Coffee & A Blonde // The Steel Trap // Wavy Alabaster // everybody loves you… // Eat with Emily // Don’t Forget to Eat // Sloping in the Sky // From Farm to Turntable // Secrets in the Wall // Red Pen Mama // Feedback Soup // The AP Collection // Blog Or Die PGH // Pittsburgh Happy Hour // Friendly Fitness Foodie // Small Town Dad // Josh’s World // Geeky Sweetie // Sean’s Ramblings // Lunges, Long Runs and Lattes // Try it and You May! // lil Burghers // Orange Chair Blog // Ya Jagoff // Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents // Melissa Firman

Posted in Lifestyle Blogging | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wrapy Baby Carrier

[Review Disclaimer] Today’s post is provided courtesy of the Wrapy Baby Carrier.

As a baby wearing family, we’ve run through many different types of baby carriers, all working differently for each of our kids, our adventures, and our budgets. I’m really not tied to one particular type or brand, though I will say that those with straps and buckles seem to help me feel safer when I’m also chasing the older two around. The Wrapy Baby Carrier is one of the carriers that we’ve given a try.

The Wrapy Baby Carrier

wrapy baby carrier

I’ll start by saying that we tried a similar carrier when Evan was a babe and again when the twins were fresh newborns. It worked, but I couldn’t get the hang of wrapping by myself (which is really the winning point of baby carrying in my book). The Wrapy was no different, unfortunately. With 9 feet of extra wide material, I would struggle to figure out how to get it wrapped just right without Greg’s help. Bummer! Double bummer? I would drag it on the floor when putting it on and because we have dogs, dog hair all over the cotton/spandex blend. Sigh.

That being said, a few positives about the Wrapy Baby Carrier:

  • The Wrapy is one size fits all. Although I’m somewhere (weirdly) between a 14 and a 20 (I know), it was long enough to wrap around my body and also to hold baby (mine are about 16 pounds). It’s the same length as the one I wore when I was a size 26, so I’d lean toward saying the one size fits all is pretty legit.
  • Baby is held close to the heart. This carrier is for front carries only. You’re able to see and kiss baby’s head because they are right there and safe against you.
  • Baby wearing is sleepy dust. I wore Isla when she was sick and it made a world of difference.
  • Breastfeeding is possible if your baby is in the seated position. Personally, I do not like the forward face in a carrier like this, so I only tried seated against me and Isla was able to eat while she hung out.

wrapy baby carrier

Would I wear the Wrapy in the summer? Maybe! It’s a lot of fabric, so I’m weary about sweat and me feeling uncomfortable, but it’s possible.

Will we keep using the Wrapy? From time to time, yes. Just like all of our carriers, there is a time and a place for it. Greg would probably work better with it, but I won’t rule it out.

If your interest is sparked and you’d like to try one of your own, you can purchase on Amazon and find out more on their website: http://wrapy.net

 

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So We Ran

This evening, as I huffed and puffed my way through 2.5 miles, my mind raced. I started to think that I wasn’t as in it to win it as I was in the past. I was so very hard on myself during this run. It’s hard to admit that you go from steady 10 minute miles up to 14:30 miles and not feel like a failure.

It’s stupid, right? I’m seven weeks in to my training for a 5k, my first “distance” since September 2014. My first miles have only been logged in the past two months…that’s a 17 month hiatus, the birth of two babies and complete down time. How can I be so hard on myself?

Better yet…how can I be so hard on myself when I have three mini mes who will likely face the same demons I do? How can I not feel like just trying is incredible? How can I not accept that sometimes I’m going to be a size 24, sometimes a 10, and sometimes an 18…but that at all sizes I am the same awesome me?

As I was struggling at the midway point (running uphill ever so slightly), I lifted my eyes and saw my five hearts that beat outside my body. The five people coming at me on the trail were my biggest fans, having followed behind to make sure I didn’t quit. They asked if I was good, and in my usual way I said NO BUT I’M STILL GOING and went on.

Soon, I heard tiny puffs of air coming up behind me, and saw a flash of pink fleece that matched my coat just out of the corner of my left eye. I’d put in 1.5 miles and had another mile to go, but I wasn’t about to go it alone. Arianna was going to run it with me. I pulled off my headphones and we just listened to each other breathing in, breathing out. Our feet hit the trail in a silly pattern that conditioned runners would probably criticize. We’d give each other a look and confirm that we were still okay, that we’d make it the next 10 minutes, the next five minutes, the next two minutes, and really dig deep for that last 10 seconds.

So we ran.

Me and my girl. My oldest mini me, the one I feel is going to make me realize I don’t have to get back in my size 10 jeans to be a good role model for. The one who is going to steal clothes from my closet and challenge me to morning runs. For a mile, it was just she and me, and so we ran.

Arianna and Me April 2014

Arianna and Me April 2014

Posted in Arianna ('lil Miss A), Becky (Mrs. Burgher) | Leave a comment

She Talks to Angels

I’m pretty certain she talks to angels. You can see it in her eyes and her silly grin when she’s being calm, quiet, yet animated.

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There are expressions she makes that I’ve only seen one or two others make before – others who have gone way before her.

There are twinkles in her eyes, a soft “bye bye” and “night night” wave to the doorway while her sister finishes up eating before bed.

There is a calmness about this one. She’s not rushing into anything, still crawling in her own sloth-like manner, still letting her younger sister climb all over her. She’s peaceful and quite content to be the baby.

If I were her, I wouldn’t want to give that up, either. But I don’t think it’s about growing up too fast (and her hearing my threats to make her older siblings start doing the bills with me). I think it’s that there is this connection to God and her angels that she knows will never be the same once she grows and lets this big ‘ol world start getting to her.

I think she talks to angels because I know I do. I feel them all the time, still with me every day like nothing has ever changed, yet not physically here. It’s the random smell of the Sun News and Pappy’s coffee that lets me know Grandma and Pappy are still watching over me. The cardinal that won’t go away even though we tore down its tree, Grandma Peterson’s presence. The sound of a train whistle and the perfect combination of denim and polo shirts that take me right back to Pappy Jack’s lap. The chuckle of George, and the soft sound of yarn around Marina’s crochet needle. The smell of oil and chlorine, wafting perfectly together along a string of giggles from Uncle Jim. And the just right color of green sprinkled through my day, reminding me of Wendy.

I know they, and many others, are still “with me”, that they know my kiddos and are telling them all the things about me that I am too stubborn to see for myself, stories I’ve all too soon forgotten, and moments that I missed.

So when I see that single bottom lip pulled up high silly face my Ava Gracie makes, I’ll just let her have her moment with her angels.

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