We walked around our college campus a couple weeks ago, kids and all. As expected, it brought back a lot of memories. But besides reminiscing about all of the late nights in the design building and the walks across campus and the Campaniling, all I could do was look around at the students as they passed and exclaim, “They don’t know ANYTHING! They don’t know ANYTHING about ANYTHING! WE didn’t know ANYTHING!”

2017 09 23 Family ISU 06.jpg

Apologies college students. I know that’s not exactly true. But seven years later and it sort of feels like it.


The kids were packed off this weekend, to give us peace and quiet and time to celebrate. We bumped into a groom (of course we did) as we walked around the Cathedral downtown, just a half-hour ahead of his own wedding. He was in the back as we were about to leave, all suited up, boutonniere in place, on a picture-perfect beautiful fall day just like our own. Tyson figured out who he was first, before I did. “You’re the groom?” I blurted out, “Congratulations!!!” (I know that three exclamation points are not editorially correct here, but had you been there, you would have heard those three exclamation points.) “We’ll be celebrating seven years in two days. Before you know it, it will be seven years later and you’ll have a mortgage and three kids!”

Yeesh. Fortunately, I didn’t scare the poor guy. He flashed a grin and said, “Great! That’s what I’m hoping for!” So he’ll be all right. Even though he looked about twelve.

I had the grace to not blurt out everything I wanted to say. Mostly I was thinking about how that handsome groom ALSO DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING. Neither did his bride. Not a thing. They had absolutely no freaking idea, as they were minutes away from walking down the aisle, what on Earth they were getting themselves into.

Of course, it’s not their fault. We didn’t, either.

Formal 094.jpg


Seven years in and we’re actually not sick of each other. No itch here. We still enjoy each other’s company, can have conversations that last for hours (or would if we didn't look at the clock and do the math to calculate how much sleep we have a chance of getting in before the kids wake up), and look forward to ditching the kids with Nana and Papa to grab 30+ uninterrupted hours of meals, sleep, and discussion to celebrate ourselves.

Seven years seems like both an impossibility and an eternity. In some ways that number doesn’t even seem possible - are we actually even old enough to have been married that long? Then again, so much has happened since October 2nd, 2010 that I must be doing the math wrong. Surely that many life events can't possibly have been packed into such a short amount of time.

We’ve spent the past seven years growing up together. Thinking of us as actual "grown-ups" still seems weird, though I suppose we've earned the title given all the kids and the minivan and the 30+ years we each possess and the fact that we spent a good chunk of our child-free time this weekend cleaning out the garage and enjoying it. (I’m still cool, I swear.) We spent the entirety of our 20s together, most of it married, as we went from living with roommates in college apartments to living in just-slightly nicer apartments together and then into a real, actual, bona fide house.

Speaking of moving up in the world: remember our first dining set? It was a folding table and chairs. We graduated to a "some assembly required" model of dubious construction from Target, and one of the most thrilling days of my life was last summer, when a truck from a real, live, actual furniture store delivered our current dining table to our house - chairs, bench, and all - fully put together, carried by other people that we could actually afford to pay to place it exactly where I wanted it set up, ready to go. Magic!  

We've learned how to cook (me), how to precisely load the dishwasher (you), and how to raise babies (both still learning).


Not only are we celebrating seven years of marriage today, but this May marked a decade since we met and (one hot second later) started dating. Ten years together. How on Earth? 

2017 09 30 Tyson Me Date 01.jpg

(Oh, and I *could* have bought you a card but instead I just put together the 700+ words above AND saved us $4.99 and it's definitely not like I totally forgot or anything. Happy Anniversary!)

I Don't Do It Alone

Having three kids in two years means I’ve heard some variation of “you’re supermom!” more times than I can count. (See also, “you must be a saint”, “one kid is hard enough!”, and general looks of bafflement when I explain their ages and spacing.)

It also means that I get asked, “How do you do it all?”. A lot. How do I wash the floors, make dinner, get anywhere ever at all on time, take a shower, get three toddlers in and out of the car, write blog posts, keep up with family photos, wash and fold laundry, scrub the toilets, put on makeup, wash dishes, stay any sort of organized, go grocery shopping, or maintain my sanity? 

Of course, the clear answer is: I don’t. 

I don’t do it all.

First and foremost: I don’t have a job outside of the home. Period. In some ways I am very lucky and in others it was a “choice” I was forced into (hello astronomical daycare costs for three small children). But the bottom line is that I am a stay-at-home mom. I don’t have to balance a career life with a home life. Sure, sometimes it’s a bit monotonous to be more or less all home all the time, but having a career outside of three kids right now sounds like it’s own sort of crazy, so here we are.

The house? We have a cleaning service once a month. (And that's a birthday gift from my in-laws. Feel free to hate me.) Sure there are still plenty of things to keep up with on a daily basis, (Crumbs and fingerprints: where do they all come from? Please explain.), but at least when the you-know-what hits the fan, I know my kitchen will be clean at least once a month. For a few seconds, at least. 

We have our people. My parents live nearby, we have other family and neighbors and friends that are able to pitch in if we really need help. If I’m sick my mom can usually come over to watch the kids. Heck, she’ll come over if I’m three weeks past desperate for a haircut. I have a mommy’s helper that comes one afternoon a week, we have neighbors whose kids love to play with our kids. 

But the real reason I can hold it all together? My husband. Daddy. He’s the other person, the second set of hands, the equal partner in this relationship. I don’t do it alone. He’s the one who makes sure the garbage can gets put out every Thursday night, the recycling bin every other Thursday night, unloads the dishwasher each morning, preps my coffee, mows the lawn, keeps three kids away from the stove while I make dinner, and kills bugs before I have a panic attack.

How do I get ready in the morning with three kids around? I don’t. Those first morning hours see him getting up with the kids, making their breakfast, and attending to their potty and diapering needs while I get up to shower or otherwise throw myself together (#yaydryshampoo). Thank goodness, because if it were left up to me and those 6 am early birds, I would have experienced approximately zero showering in the past three years.

He spent the first year of the twins’ lives going to each and every doctor appointment, because there was no way I was tackling that alone with two infants when they needed shots. 

We’re lucky enough that he works from home right now. If I desperately need him to watch a kid or two while I take the third to the doctor, or we just got outside and suddenly a toddler needs to run back in to pee, or in the moments where I was exhausted and just couldn’t take it anymore because the baby just wouldn’t go down for his nap, he’s able to rearrange his schedule or step out for five minutes to lend a hand. This past week I took the boys to get haircuts and left Brooklyn behind, and she played on her tablet in Daddy’s office while he continued to work. It's not that he's doing the most stellar parenting in these moments, but having the option to leave one behind, one less little body for me to deal with, is an amazing luxury right now.

And writing? Not only did he gift me a year of creativity (good one, hon), but he gives me the time and space to write, by taking over childcare duties for hours at a time on the weekends, cleaning up the house in the evening when I need to get something out of my mind and onto the page, and not batting an eye when he walks into a room and is greeted with “I can’t talk get out of here now” as I tap away at my laptop. 

On more than one occasion I have gone to an event: a party, a baby shower, whatever, and had people greet me with the utmost surprise, “Oh, you’re here! Where are the children?” Uh...with my husband? Y’know, their dad? The other parent. One woman was truly astounded that I came to attend a party and left my husband home alone with all three children. I’m not sure what that says about her own marital and home life, but what I wanted to say was, “Lady, when I left all three of them were NAPPING! I think he’ll be just fine!” Not only is he fully capable and qualified, but he's just as astounded as I am to be confronted with these questions.

So here’s to you Tyson, and to all of the other dads out there who are taking over everything from diaper duty to nighttime wake-up calls. The thing is, we’ve always been in this whole parenting thing together. I mean, we kind of had to with that whole twins thing and all. To-get-up-or-not-to-get-up for those nighttime feedings and marathon rocking sessions wasn’t exactly a choice for either of us. If one was up, all of us were up. But you didn’t shirk away from it the third time around, either. You got up every time with Nolan, too. Every. Time. You never said that it was my job because I was the one who had to feed him or that you had to work tomorrow (as if I didn’t). You got up, you did the work, and you parented, right there along with me.

We don’t always agree on every single little parenting decision, but I’ve never felt alone in any of it. We’re both in the trenches, every day. We’re both tired, sometimes beaten down, but we’re here, together, ready to do it all again the next day.  

So how do I do it all?

How did I go out to brunch with my friends last weekend? Because daddy is home with the kids.

How did I possibly put on makeup and brush my hair this morning? Because it's daddy's job to get up with the kids and feed them breakfast.

How did I find the time to write this essay? Because my husband asked me what I needed this weekend and I told him I needed to get out of the house for a few hours. So I did.

I’m not alone. I’ve never been alone. I don’t do it alone.

Happy Father’s Day, babe. Let’s keep up the good work together.

All photos credit to Prall Photography.

One/Three Year Photos

Another birthday (or three...), another round of family pictures.

Here's a round-up of some of my favorites...along what with we're thinking in each picture...

Caden: "My arms are freezing. Seriously, it's barely March. Why are we even out here without coats on?"

Brooklyn: "Come on, guys. why am I the only one following directions here?"

Caden: "LOVE MEEEE!" Nolan: "Leave me alone."

Me: "This is my life. No, seriously, you don't even know how often it looks like this while I'm just trying to get lunch on the table."


"I'm a stud and I know it."
"No need to smile when you look this cool."
"I mean, just check out this bow tie."

"Sometimes we like each other."
Caden: "Mom is gonna love this smile."

"Finally, my chance to shine without those boys around. Check out this posture."

"I'm only smiling this big because I'm throwing rocks in between shots."

Brooklyn: "Why is it always up to me? Hold it together, guys..."

"Yeah, I made you guys work so dang hard for this grin."



"Shhh...act professional."

Me: "I am holding onto Nolan for dear life right now. I can't imagine that we'll ever get a picture in where he isn't completely blurry from squirming so much."

(Okay, no thoughts here. Just all the heart eyes for this one.)

"This is gonna be good."

"We're smiling this big because we ditched our children."
Many, many thanks again to the talented Missy of Prall Photography!

Welcome Home Honey

Hi honey! We've missed you! You've been gone for the past eleven days. ELEVEN DAYS. That's like, over a week. And included a full weekend. I mean, we've been here before, but the days are long, babe. I think there is more to that saying but all I can remember right now is that the days are long and the hours are even LONGER. Oh. My. Goodness. Here are a few notes for you upon your return.

I swear that Caden actually IS excited for your return.

  • You'll notice that most of your clothes are in a pile on the floor of the bedroom closet. The twins decided six days ago that it would be a great idea to pull them all off of the hangers while I dared to brush my teeth in the morning. Yes, that's right, six days ago. They're still there. And probably wrinkled.
  • I did clean the entire house while you were gone, though. And by "I", of course I mean "the cleaning company that I hired to come out here once a month". It was perfect timing, really. You're welcome.
  • The food situation is somewhat dire. We do have plenty of mac + cheese, goldfish crackers, and cereal. Not sure about milk, though. If you want something else, you should probably pick it up on your way home. Kidding. For the love please don't stop anywhere and just get home as fast as you possibly can.
  • Unless you decide to pick up a bottle of wine, anything dark chocolate, a bouquet of flowers, and/or Chipotle. Then, please, go right ahead. (Add the guac. You know I love their guac.)
  • I am sleeping in tomorrow. I do not know when I will emerge from the confines of our bedroom. I will also be taking a long hot shower BY MY OWN DANG SELF. I am going to wash my hair AND shave my legs. Please note that the twins' gymnastics class is at 10:40 am. I may or may not be up and ready by then.
  • Brooklyn's new favorite color is pink. I know that for the past few months it was blue but now it is pink, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul if you attempt to give her anything but the pink cup.
  • Nolan has added "uh-oh" to his vocabulary. It sounds more like "uh-ahh", and he usually pulls it out after he's thrown his plate, food scraps, or entire sippy cup of milk onto the floor. Repeatedly. It's a really fun game for exactly one of us.
  • I got a fly out of the house by myself while you were gone. (Where did a fly come from? It's MARCH.) Since you know how I feel about bugs, I probably deserve some sort of medal.
  • Just close your eyes when you put the kids in the van. But be careful, since you basically can't see the floor anymore. It is a DISASTER. Cleaning it up is at the top of my priority list. However, it's been at the top of my priority list for the past two weeks and you can see how well that's worked out for me.
  • I am entirely willing to let you completely take over bedtime for all three kids for the next eleven days. Doesn't that sound fun?
  • We owe several of our friends a round of babysitting or a meal, and my parents some sort of something awesome for all the help they've given us the past week and a half. 
  • I am eternally grateful to you for the following things: taking over garbage duty each week, remembering to always prep my coffee the night before, tackling the twins' daily 6 am wake-up calls, and cleaning the heavy dishes that I can barely lift even before they are filled up with a gallon of soapy water (I'm looking at you, Dutch oven).
  • While I was really tempted, I resisted the urge to watch any of our shows on Netflix while you were gone. You're welcome again.
  • I know you missed us, but I'VE MISSED YOU MORE. Welcome home.


Six years.

At six years, the details of that day are getting a little bit fuzzy.  At one year, at two, at three...I could tell you exactly what I was doing at practically every minute of our wedding day.  What time I woke up to decorate for the reception, when I was getting my hair done, what time I arrived at the church, walked down the aisle, etc.

Some of that has faded now.  I remember that it was beautiful.  The weather was perfect.  The food was delicious, though I could barely relax enough to eat any.  I was in love with our flowers, the suits, the dresses, and, most of all, you.

Six years in, and we're settling into what our life is.  No more wandering the unknown of grad school (or, really, the unknown of post-grad school).  We're here.  Three kids, a mortgage, the minivan. 

We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into.

And yet, six years for us looks settled.  And despite a chaotic past year (a move!  a  new baby!  twin toddlers!  a job out-of-state!), it's starting to feel a lot quieter, calmer.  More settled.  We're ready for that.

Here's to the past six.  And six more.  Or sixty.  Even better.

(Years, that is.  Not kids.  Yikes.)