All In

Disclaimer: I won a fellow blogger’s giveaway and got to meet Robert Armstrong for a photo shoot. The images below were presented to us as our winnings. Although his services were free of charge, I wanted to share his talents and recommend you check him out. We loved how Robert connected with our kiddos. He is a wedding photographer, but also captures special moments. Feel free to check him out at Thank you, Robert, for the beautiful photos!


This past weekend, the ‘lil Burghers headed to Cortland, New York for a wedding (more to come on that). One of the most tear jerking moments of the day was when our friend Ash gave a toast and noted that when She spoke with Olivia (a bride/good friend) about the concept of pre-nups, she didn’t believe in them. She, like Greg, believes that when you find the one, they aren’t needed…

…because when you go, you go all in.

I happen to know someone else who believes in that.


Someone who five years ago was packing up his life to give all his chips to a bet on a girl from Pittsburgh.


And her sweet ‘lil girl.


So that they could start a fresh life. all in.


For better, for worse.


For richer, for poorer.


In sickness…yes, even the man cold. In health.


He was all in, and he taught me that was the most important thing. What resulted was our happily ever after.




Mixed-Up Love

Disclosure: I received the book discussed below in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Mixed-Up Love, written by a Jewish rabbi, Michal Woll, and her husband, Jon Sweeney, a prolific Catholic writer, explores their experience as an interfaith couple. Between deciding if and how to get married, how to practice religion, and how to raise their family, there were a lot of decisions to make.

I connected with the text as Greg and I are living this life. As a Christian married to a Baha’i, I often worry that my decisions to have our kids be raised in the UMC might not be the approved way…but it is the way that works for us. As Michal and Jon write in this book, families need to talk about how their faiths will work together and do it in a fashion that works for them.


My favorite part of Mixed-Up Love was the section on “Coming Together”-going from friendship to dating to marriage. While some people in my life may not get it, faith was was a big player in our decision to marry. We followed the Baha’i practice of holding our wedding ceremony within 90 days of our engagement (talk about whirlwind). We followed UMC marriage ceremony norms and had a separate Baha’i ceremony immediately afterword. Later that night, my dad handed us the state certificate. All of this followed 90 days of making sure it was all *just* right and we weren’t conflicting any practice. It wasn’t easy, but growing up kids of faith leaders, we felt right doing it this way.

And if you ask Greg what one of the things that made him fall in love with me was? He would tell you my dedication to my faith.

Reading this book, I found myself nodding a lot. While I don’t understand the Catholic and Jewish references,  I get the concept and reason they wrote it. And, I appreciate knowing other couples are doing what we are…living our lives as individuals engaged in our relationships and faiths.

You can get a copy of Mixed-Up Love on Amazon. Retail value is $15.

One of Forty

Surely the whole metric about  “40% of US homes tout women as the primary breadwinner” is old news for all of you. But I apologize, friends, because you see, I am one of forty. And no, I won’t be the first to blog about it, nor will I be the last. But gosh golly gee? I am going to blog about it.

First, let’s get down to business. Admittedly, a few other bloggers’ posts hit my feedly about this, I glanced, but didn’t get to into it until today. I got a tweet over on @lilburghers asking me to tune in to a local channel tonight as @momfinder chats with Ellis Cannon about this metric. Okay, I am one of forty, so sure. I’ll watch. But, I do not like to jump into something without doing a ‘lil bit of research, so I landed on this NY Times article (from last Wednesday, mind you) and found out this:

Women are not only more likely to be the primary caregivers in a family. Increasingly, they are primary breadwinners, too.

Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data released Wednesday. This share, the highest on record, has quadrupled since 1960.

The shift reflects evolving family dynamics.

Yeah buddy, does it. Let me tell you, as one of forty percent, the family dynamic sure is changing. (On the side, I hope some of that means more of this happening, ahem.) When Greg and I got engaged, he moved to PA and started a small part-time job. Once we bought our house, he quit due to distance and the fact that my parents could no longer be Arianna’s daytime caregivers. Out of need, we became a one-income family, driven by me. Sure, Greg coupons and gets us staples and the ability to give to others, but 99% of our money comes from the time I put in at the office.

This makes things quite interesting for us. He’s had to learn to like doing laundry and to keep the bathrooms clean. I’ve had to learn that sometimes those things will not meet my (ocd) standards. He’s had to change lots of diapers and potty train two sassy kids. I’ve had to learn that sometimes the kids are going to run to daddy with a boo boo first first that hug and want nothing to do with me. He’s had to start (or make or keep warm) dinners when I put in long hours at the office (like this week, thank you Boo). I’ve had to learn to let go and that sometimes, dammit, Wendy’s does have to work as dinner because he’s had a long day, too. 

This isn’t something completely unfamiliar to us. Both of our moms were the sole breadwinner at some point in both of our lives. We turned out great, I’d like to think. But I don’t think turning out great is the question or the fight in the buzz around this metric. Recession–women having to work to make ends meet, more single moms doing it all, more families deciding mom can make more if dad stays home vs. daycare–has had a big impact on this. Women’s empowerment, another. I went to a women’s college and learned to be independent and strong…and frankly, I’ll say it…I don’t want to be sitting at home, “raising the kids”.

And that, my friends, brings us to the next dynamic of all this, marriage stability. I have to say, it’s not easy being the breadwinner. From my perspective, it makes me feel like Greg has to “ask” to spend money (and he shouldn’t feel like that). On the flip side, I have to balance the budget and do get irritated when he wants to purchase something “frivolous” like a hard drive to back up our photos (but I just run out and grab a few new shoes). We have to find a balance. And I have to step up, put dishes away once in awhile, bring home not only the bacon, but the milk and eggs, too.

Society is a-changing, and I am glad Greg and I are ready and armed to roll with it.

What do you think about this metric? How do you find the balance if you are one of forty? Talk to me, peeps. 


Something Right


I may not be able to jump back in the saddle and run a nice distance yet, but I must be doing something right.

I may not be able to reply to mail, pay bills a week ahead, or realize my library books had a one week (not three) return date, but I must be doing something right.

I may not be able to hold a conversation at the same time as trying to get through a business book or hold my tongue instead of snapping back an insincere “I’m sorry”, but I must be doing something right.

I may not be the perfect mother, wife, cousin, or friend, but I must be doing something right.


Tonight’s post is brought to you by the blogger who realizes blogging, parenting, marriage, friendship, life isn’t always Pinterest Perfect. Nor should it be. Be thankful for the small, beautiful things. Like your 4 year old reading you Spoon. Enjoy these moments and don’t snap when the going gets a little uneasy.

Removes blogging hat and reads the above to herself. Amen to that.