Life is full of obstacles, am I right? There’s always going to be someone or something in our way. A greater force that gets in our head and we have to figure out how to overcome that force.

For instance, Evan and his soccer. He’s a pretty decent player, but not the best (which is perfectly fine – it’s two weeks into the season). But, he already knows about obstacles like the kid who is clearly the better player having the upper hand on control of the ball. But tonight at practice? Evan cleared some of those hurdles. He blocked a few of the player’s goals and then scored some against him. It’s hard not to get too excited, but there might have been a few ‘lil tears in my eye while I watched it.

This got me thinking about what we teach our kids when we as adults overcome our fears and do things that scare the crap out of us. Like going down waterslides or running half marathons and mud races. Making major life changes and moving from the state you knew as home for over 20 years (which both Greg and I have done). Or even the little things, like going to work on a beautiful day when you’d rather be at home with your family. When we show our kids that there are things that make us anxious and yet we try, we all grow.

Lately, I’ve been faced with some fears. As many of you know, I lost a lot of weight before I got pregnant with the twins. I gained about half of it back and haven’t lost any of it since having them. My body is different, but it’s been a huge (literally) fear of mine that it won’t come back off ever. I’ve been working out, eating right, sticking to mostly water (and some coffee). Something’s just not right, so I’ve done what I need to do – head to my dietitian and doctor. We’ll figure all this out, but the fears and anxiety over my own reflection is pretty crazy. So last night, I decided to give a group fitness class, a Pound Rockout Workout, a try. And guess what? I overcame that obstacle of my own body image and fears be pushed aside.


It’s all part of parenting, teaching our kids to overcome obstacles. They have so many things ahead of them, and I hope they see what we do as not a sacrifice or being selfish…but being role models.

How do you help your children overcome? What was a tough hurdle you’ve gone through? 


While I’m at it, here’s a REALLY AWESOME game – everyone wins and you work together to overcome…you guessed it…

Three Rules of Mommy’s Van

Tonight, while riding in the van, Evan demanded three things. He wanted to drink his iced tea, wanted just the right songs to play, and wanted it not to smell like the tropics. That’s when I told him that there are three rules of Mommy’s Van.

three rules of mommy's van

Three Rules of Mommy’s Van

Rule 1: Mommy is the only one who should be sipping on anything while driving and it is likely going to be coffee. Preferably from a coffee shop, but we’ve got swim lessons to be paid for and bellies that love chicken nuggets and fries. Some mornings, Mommy has to earn her stars or redeem her perks and treat herself as she did in the picture above (taken during a quiet moment in the parking lot before heading to work, mind you).

Rule 2: Mommy is going to be in control of the radio 98% of the time. Unless you want to sing Wildest Dreams to me and make me smile. Then you can demand that song. I much prefer my beloved “Let it Go” to that kiddo version, mind you.

Rule 3: Mommy misses the beach, so this van is going to smell like the tropics like it or not. That’s far better than smelly baby feet (which we can’t figure out other than genetics), soccer cleats, and boy farts. Coconut and pineapple will take me away, and that’s a good thing for you, ‘lil Burghers. Now mind you, if it’s winter you might get a change of pace and smell some red velvet or peppermint, but it’s springtime so in with the warm breeze.

If you can live by these three rules of Mommy’s van, then you can do anything else you want (within the law)…until I expand my rules because you’re making me drink too much coffee! *wink*

What rules do you have in your vehicle that your kiddos can’t stand? 

Disclaimer: Posts on my blog may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

Pepperoni and Pretzels

Sometimes getting your kid to eat is a really tough thing. In the past few months, I’ve come to learn that sometimes just giving him what he really wants is worth it. In this case, that thing for our boy is pepperoni and pretzels.

And sometimes, pepperoni and pretzels means the same thing as giving in to one more YouTube video so that he can learn how to become a superstar on our own YouTube Channel. Heh. 😉

Or taking him to the store to buy coconut flavored petroleum jelly so his lips don’t get raw.

Yes, sometimes being the mom or dad of a particular kid is a test. A trial. A moment of madness. But most of the time it is realizing that they are just like you. Let’s be real. I wanted pepperoni and pretzels for dinner tonight, too.


What a Boy Wants

We have learned that when it comes to Evan and his hair, he is in charge. We’ve gone with his direction, what a boy wants.

That’s why he’s had very few haircuts.

His choice. His direction. His hair.

He started growing it as a baby, our baby with the most hair. His first haircut was later than most, and by the time he was four, it was to his rib cage.

The day he asked us to take it to the ears, we took him to Great Clips to get it done. Since then, it’s been trimmed a few times, but the same cut for the past ten months.

Last night he asked me for a mohawk, I knew it meant a trip to the salon today. He meant it.

The day started like this:


We headed to the shop where his daddy gets his haircut, but I kinda knew she’d already closed. I had warned Ev that might happen, and he was okay. He just needed to see she was closed and move on. When we pulled close, he could tell there were no cars at the shop and yelled out, “Jill has gone home, let’s go to Great Clips before I change my mind!”….so south we headed. He was first in line (thanks, online checkin), but still had a second to look at a book. He took choices to the stylist, one on the left and one on the right. He suggested the one on the left because “it has less steps, so won’t be so much to ask”. My boy.

And after two different razor lengths and scissors, lots of hair on the floor…


…our ‘lil man ended up with his haircut! And the best part? He loves it…and it’s exactly what he wants.


He looks so grown up, doesn’t he?

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To get Evan’s hair doing what a boy wants, we’re big fans of Rock On Matte Clay. You can get your own over on Amazon.

First Day of Pre-K Counts

It’s been almost a week, but Evan had his first day of Pre-K Counts last Thursday. (Hush. This mama is not dealing with the fact that her baby boy is growing up.)

IMG_0141Just like his big sister, Evan is a pro at this school thing. Unlike last year, he can tell me names of friends and teachers – and that was just two days in. He loves caterpillars (as long as Daddy sends in non-poisonous ones…) and helping take care of the plants. He’s drawing pictures just like Arianna – I’ve got two ‘lil artists on my hands. Well, except for that time he drew Greg without legs (we’re all not sure what that’s about). IMG_0143

He loves that there aren’t naps.

He loves helping his teachers water the plants.

But most of all? I think that he loves getting picked up by mama or daddy and his girls at the end of the day and telling us all about his adventures…and how he can’t wait to go back tomorrow.

And he totally rocked his first day of Pre-K Counts photo, right?


Aw, Bummer!

It started about a week ago. Aw, Bummer! has quickly become Evan’s go to phrase.

“You can’t have a snack until you finish your Pop Tart” results in Aw, Bummer.

It’s also the follow-up to “you have to come inside because your sisters are going to get sunburns”.

And of course, to nap-time. Which means it’s also the reaction to bedtime, too.

“Mom’s feeding the girls, she’ll be done soon.” Aw, Bummer! 

Just one more book.

Just one more song.

Just one more bite before you move along.

Aw, Bummer!

NurinWedding_ (160)
There’s no more of this cake. 🙁 AW, BUMMER!


Last Day of Head Start

Last Wednesday was Evan’s last day of Head Start (year one – we haven’t made solid plans for next year, but he’s back in the program if he wants to be / if it fits with our schedule).

He’s not as photo happy about school photos as Arianna is, so we have to go with what we get with him. Like this:


See? Sigh. His feet were hot and I was torturing him, go figure.

This year, Evan has grown up so much:

  • He can write his first name, sometimes the “right” way with a “Big E, little v, a, n”.
  • His personality is shining through. Don’t call him Sugar Bear, though, or he’ll curl up into his shy ball and say, “that’s not nice to call people names”.
  • He asked to cut his hair.
  • He is learning responsibility and consequences.
  • He is reading some words.
  • He knows how to count to 30, but almost always skips 15.
  • He knows his alphabet and can recognize almost all of the upper and lower case letters.
  • He recognizes (and can describe) shapes.

Way to grow, Evan! Love you forever, like you for always.

Easter Outfits from Carter’s Kids

*articles may contain affiliate links* This post is thanks to Carter’s Kids.

I owe Carter’s babies and kids a huge thank you for making my life a ‘lil bit easier for Easter morning. Because of us setting the date of the girls’ birthday right before Easter, there was a huge chance we wouldn’t be home to accompany the kids to church and we were right. Having their outfits ready to go for the grandmas made life super easy!

How’d they help me? A few months ago, I was given a gift card to shop for spring outfits (and now it’s summertime outfits, but bear with me). Carter’s has me on their mailing list, too, so I sat down with a catalog and the big kids to pick out their Easter outfits. It did not take long at all and they’d picked out coordinating outfits.

Placing the order online was super easy, too. I just went to their website and entered in the items they wanted, snagged their size (I shopped about four weeks early), and placed my order. Shipping was quick and the clothes were true to size, too. Can I just say I cannot believe that Evan is old enough to be in a 5T vest?!? Bonus? The outfits worked for Easter and our cousin’s wedding!

carters kids

Right after I snapped that picture, I put it on Instagram. The photo Carter’s posted on their Instagram feed just before it? One of a ‘lil girl in the same dress as Arianna!

We love what they picked out, but I really could have shopped all day long. We have four Carter’s Kids locations in Pittsburgh plus a store at the Grove City Outlets, so I’m quite sure some shopping is in my future for summer outfits, too. (Looking for the store closest to you? Use their Store Locator to find it.)

Want to shop Carter’s and looking for suggestions? One of the things we always forget to buy is swimwear. Right now, Carter’s Swim Shop is open online for your shopping needs. There are also plenty of great deals right on their main page (like complete outfits for $7!). I really have to stop telling you about it because I want to fill my cart with all the 0-3 M Flamingo and Seahorse items I can (aunts have gifted the girls with these unique patterns and I really can’t get enough now!)…but I’ll try to refrain and leave some goodies for your shopping pleasure.