flashback friday

I missed #tbt, or Throwback Thursday for those of you who aren’t hip to the kids’ lingo these days, by about twenty minutes and I don’t think you can be late for hash-tagged events. Right? I mean, then it would be all #laterblog and no one even knows what that means. Right?! Besides, at the time, I wasn’t alert enough to enjoy a walk down memory lane. But now? Because it’s Friday. Because I can’t read another.stinking.email this week. And because I cried in the card aisle at Target earlier, I walk. Continue reading

the people you meet and how you can help

So, just over eight years ago I learned I was pregnant with Connor. The year prior wasn’t easy. Becoming pregnant was a task in and of itself, but I was thankful when I found a group of women online on a similar journey. These women would become my “mommy friends.”

Sadly, that really is what I always call them. It’s just the easiest way to describe this deeply-connected, honest, loving, steadfast group of moms. We’ve moved around the InterWebs over the course of the past eight years. Our lives have all changed pretty significantly too, which I guess is to be expected for a group of 65ish people  Many of us had more children; some of us got divorced; some of us got re-married; some of us went back to school and pursued new careers … all fairly common over that period of time. But, there were some events that none of us could have foreseen and those were the times that we all rallied around each other and I once again learned the capacity of human beings to care for one another.

Today, though, the focus is not on the group but on an individual whom I’ve come to love dearly. Her name is Mollie. Mollie is a single mom to three beautiful children. She is one of the most humble, sweet women I’ve ever “met”. (No, I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Mollie in person. She’s sort of an imaginary friend, but not. You know?)

Anyway, two years ago Mollie was diagnosed (quite suddenly) with Type 1 diabetes and she’s been facing some pretty severe side effects already. Her endo has recommended she get an insulin pump but unfortunately, she’s been denied by her state-provided insurance. You can read more of the story here.

Mollie posted the other night in our private Facebook group, not with a plea for money, but just that she’s been feeling so awful. Almost immediately, the mommy powers activated to start securing funding for this pump (they can cost upwards of $6,000). I just looked and her wonderful supporters have already raised about 1/3 of that. How amazing is that?!

I have a few people that read here. Would you read a little about Mollie and consider giving? I don’t ask for donations, well, pretty much ever, but I wholeheartedly believe that when a number of people commit small acts, big change can occur.

Thanks in advance for any support you could offer – even if it’s just spreading the word!

Support Mollie



Connor James,

You.are.seven. (well, almost) Yet, last night I was thrilled (albeit slightly panicked that you fell asleep on your own at eight o’clock) that I was able to carry you to your bed. I laid your head gently on your pillow and pulled your covers up near your soft cheeks and immediately went back in time. I’ve always loved putting you to bed. Those few minutes are the most special each day, to me. We pray together (most of the time you will but sometimes you ask me to pinch hit) and thank God for moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas (yes, we are thankful for the rest of our family too … we’re just hitting the highlights). Then, we kiss and I tell you I love you. And, within minutes, you’ll be sound asleep.

Well, now you weigh just over sixty pounds (last week you were ecstatic to hit sixty-one after many, many months at sixty). It isn’t as easy for me to carry you from the couch into your bed, but that almost never happens unless you’re opting to be lazy. That sometimes happens. And we measured your height tonight and although not terribly scientific, you stood at just over fifty inches tall. You are my fairly tall, skinny (yet still compact and strong) boy. Do you remember being one? These new stats are a far cry from that first year.

Month 11 100

You’ve accomplished so much in the past year. You completed your first full year of all-day school when you graduated from kindergarten. You received high praise from your teacher and you’ve continued to do so as you’ve transitioned into first grade. You love Mrs. Modreske and think she’s the “nicest teacher ever”. Last month, you were awarded Student of the Month and it was awesome for mommy to hear about your eagerness to learn and to race your friends to answer challenge questions. When we finished kindergarten, you weren’t all that interested in reading, but you loved math. Now, you’re doing really well with reading, writing and the numbers still come easily (you can even do some complex problems that leave mouths hanging open). Yet, last time we talked you wanted to be an artist. So, there’s that. You’re a very, very bright boy and I’m so very proud of the fact that you not only have classroom know-how but also street smarts. Your dad would swear you don’t get that from me.

the grad (with a fuller smile)

There was lots and lots of fun this past year as well. You had some amazing field trips at school; visiting the zoo, the apple orchard, a stage performance and the museum. You have your school buddies, too. You’re especially tight with Nolan. In my opinion, you’re full on BFFs. You’ve had a few playdates with him (and one with your buddy, Micah) and you had your very first sleepover with Nolan last weekend. There were also family trips to Florida, Great Wolf Lodge, the beach, the Air Zoo, a couple local museums, ArtPrize and to visit our other extended ‘family’ in Detroit when we went to LegoFest.

Speaking of Legos, your obsession began with the Ninjago series. As a matter of fact, your sixth birthday cake was Ninjago-themed. When you started first grade, though, your focus flipped to Star Wars. You haven’t looked back since. You have several sets now and I’ll tell you a little story when you’re older about how some of those came about. Hint: Santa had me working very hard this year.

In addition to the Lego series, you are also a huge fan of the entire Star Wars series. You have action figures, movies, puzzles, books, clothes, etc. And, to be completely honest, it’s been really hard for me to keep up with your extensive knowledge. It amazes me what you’ve learned in the last few months and I love your extended stories about the various pieces of the complete saga.

You like competition, too. Well, I should say you still like competition but now, it seems like winning and losing is more of a concrete concept. You’re becoming a wicked-awesome soccer player and you also continue to grow as a t-ball/baseball player. You just started indoor basketball in January as well. I’m curious to see what you’ll decide you love doing as you grow. Without a doubt, though, you put your heart and soul into your game. You take it very seriously and you do not like.to.lose. This also applies to Uno and Guess Who and Death Star Jenga. Admittedly, I let you win sometimes, but I let you lose, too. It’s a good lesson for life.

the competitor

Ah, life lessons. I don’t want to get too teary as I write so I’ll keep it brief here but this year was hard. On all of us. For the first time, I wasn’t able to tuck you in every night and there isn’t a way to adequately describe how difficult that is for your mom but I take solace in the fact that you are being tucked in whether you’re home with me or home with your dad. You’ve had to grow up a lot this year, but again, I am so proud of the person (young man?!) you’re becoming. For instance, when you were diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in October, you were upset (briefly) and then you just … learned to deal. I can’t tell you how much that helped me because I was devastated for you. No more Reese’s Puffs? Tragic. But you’ve learned to love Cinnamon Chex. Sometimes, sacrifice is exactly what’s necessary to become healthy.

As much as a parent is supposed to teach their child, I feel like it’s you that’s teaching me. And I feel so lucky. This picture (from ArtPrize) feels like such an accurate reflection of who you are. Right now. You are silly and fun and spontaneous and adorable and your smile lights up a room. Please, please hold on to those traits. Just remember to always use them for good.

that's my boy

that’s my boy

I thank God for you, my dear, sweet Valentine. You give me reason to celebrate.

I’ll love you forever,
Your mama

braggy mcbraggerson


Connor came home today with a very sad face. He announced, “Well, Mom, I didn’t get Student of the Month.” I’d remembered seeing some commentary on Facebook about teachers handing in nominations but otherwise, it wouldn’t have been on my radar. I mean, it isn’t that I think my kid isn’t worthy of such a designation; I just don’t think about it, to be honest. Continue reading