What If

Yo, Mrs Weathers, did you get that Ambert Alert?

Ya, bro, some dude shot his girl and then kidnapped her kids.

Nervous chatter,
Cell phones ON in the halls.
I hustle them into our room,

our safe place.

“Hold up guys, slow down, everything is ok, tell me what you heard”

And 1 by 1, my kids relive the moment an Amber Alert set off Their personal cell phone. Some were gaming, some were woken up from innocent dreams, some began their day with this news. News that 1 mile away from school, their safe place, a woman was killed and her children were stolen.

Of all life’s twists and turns that my kids have experienced, this loop set them flying. They collectively began to question.

Think they’ll catch him?
Think he’s long gone?
What’ll happen to the kids?

And then

an unsettled…

What if he’s close to our school?
What if he still has a gun?
What if someone with a gun comes into school?

Yeah, like Florida.

“Mrs. Weathers, what IF someone with a gun comes here? To OUR school?”

I swallow hard. Breathe deep.
I say all the things I’m supposed to say. I do my best to remind them that we have discussed this, that we have practiced this. That we are safe. BUT if God forbid something bad does happen, we know what we should do.

And then, a question, from my kids, MY young adult beautiful children.
A voice from the life I am here to protect



So what, we hide in the closet and hope he doesn’t get us?



Behind the scenes

6:00 am – I can’t see you but I know you’re there. Do I have enough gas? Is my phone charged? What is the weather going to be like? Are backpacks ready to go? Breath. Shower. Morning hugs and kisses.

7:00 am I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Please stop playing we need to leave. Where is my water bottle? Is everyone buckled? Does Gracie have her blanket? Breath. Focus.

7:45 am I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. I love you and I’ll miss you. Please be good today. Participate and play nice. Have fun learning new things. Breathe. Regroup.

8:10 am I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Are my copies ready? Did she have a good night? Did her mom come home last night? Will he be in the same clothes again? I hope its a breakfast he will eat, he needs to stay awake in class today. Breathe. Smile.

3:30 pm – I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. What is traffic like? Do I have enough gas to get home? Did Gracie nap, did Noah make good choices, did Aidan eat lunch? What should I make for dinner? Breathe. Smile. Afternoon hugs and kisses.

4:30 pm – I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Unload dishwasher, please play nice.  Boil, chop, bake… No I can’t play with you, I need to make dinner. Ok, give me 5 minutes. What do you have for home? Mom Gracie pooped! Can I have a snack? Can I watch a show? I’m hungry! Breathe. Unclench you jaw. Relax.

6:00 pm I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Please give Gracie a bath, I need 5 minutes. No time. Bags packed. Water bottle washed and set out. Clothes laid out. Breathe. You made it.

9:00 pm I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Everything hurts. Breathe. Close your eyes. Breathe.

2:00 am I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Did Gracie cry? Maybe she is teething. When is her next doc appointment?
3:00 am I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Did Noah cough. Lord he can not get sick again.
4:00 am I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. I really need to get some sleep.
Breathe. Write about it. Have faith. Breathe.

Mini n Me Moment

They say, sharing is caring.

Well, I must really care about my kids, because I share EVERYTHING with them. I share my bed when they are sick and need extra cuddles. I share my t-shirts when they paint masterpieces. I share my blankets when they are chilly. I share my food when they insist on more – But not more from their plate. (Veggies obviously taste better from Mamas plate. Noah ate my entire salad today for lunch – after insisting he did not want me to make him his own.) It’s ok though. That’s what Mamas do, we care, so we share. EXCEPT for my coffee. Mama does not share coffee. Other than the fact that it will hurt their tiny tummies, coffee does not invite the tiny people to gather round.

Coffee is sacred. When I work, its a quick run through DD on occasion and then barely having time to drink it down before I get too busy. But when I am home, I make coffee and sneak away for 5 minutes. Its a planned and precise moment. I sense it coming and I gift myself a moment. Kids are fed and happy, Keurig gets turned on. Kids happily playing with toys, coffee gets brewed. Final drips reach the rim and I slink towards my living room. Nestle into my couch. Breath in the warmth and soak in the moment. Peace.

Today, my mini me wobbled into my moment. But even at 18 months she knows that coffee is “hot” and coffee is “mamas.” Today, Gracie every so gently “cheers” me with her milk cup. She then sat down next to me with her milk and her books. Not saying a word. She just sipped her milk and read her books. Today, I shared my coffee moment with my baby girl and it was perfect.

Sunrise snuggles

For the past 6 years I’ve been forced into learning the art of being an early riser. This is a skill that does not come easy to me.

Grammar school me would often be woken up by my dad pulling off my covers followed by blaring light from the morning sun as he opened my curtains.

High school me would wake up for school by the sound of my ride’s car horn in the driveway ready to start our day.

College me never signed up for an 8am class, cause that was “just too early.”

City me rolled out of bed just in time to make it to brunch and not a minute earlier.

Mama Me… wakes up to pitter patter feet at my bedside and sweet little boy voices – Mama, is it time to get up? Mama, can I lay with you? Mama is it time to read yet? Mama Me wakes up no later than 6:30. Every! Single! Day!

Saturdays are no exception. This morning I was basking in my morning haze before the boys woke up. I heard Noahs door open and I braced myself for the undeniable “Can I wake up yet?” When suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks and stared out the hallway window. He declared, ever so loudly at 6:15 am, MAMA, YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL SKY. MORNING IS HERE! My sleepy eyes opened as my heart burst with love. I walked to the hallway, Noah took my hand and lead me to the window to admire the beautiful morning sky. Noah noticed the sky was the color of his favorite starburst flavor – pink! We stood there for a moment, holding hands and soaking in the brillant morning views. Just Noah and me.

To a 4 year old, time does not exist. To a 4 year old the world is his to explore! I am so happy he chose to explore the 6:15 early morning sunrise with his Mama.

I made a deal

“I don’t know if I have enough to say.”

“Yeah, me either. And 31 days is A LOT!”

“I have too much on my plate as it is. Have you seen my pile of laundry?!”

“Hey you could slice about laundry!”

“Do people write about laundry?”

“People write about everything!”

“Yeah I was reading my slices from previous years and I have so many great memories in there.”

“Oh me too! Remember that one about the mac n cheese?  Oh and the brown crayon slice is still a favorite of mine”

“Yeah slicing really is a fun challenge! Maybe I will try it again this year.”

“I’ll do it if you do it.”



“Ok, its a deal.”


And here we go again…

Small moments

The past 6 years have proven to be anything but easy. Fun! Exciting! Memorable! Celebratory! Yes, but I wouldn’t say easy. So many changes have happened in my life. Yet one thing remains consistent – my husband has remained by my side.

2 house, 2 kids, family tragedies, family celebrations, combined with the highs and lows of everyday life. Life can be very complicated. Marriage can be very complicated, but it is always worth it. At the end of the day, family and love always win.

My husband works very hard to provide for his family. He is a man determined to build a family based on love yet he knows a paycheck is necessary as well.

Through the long work days he always finds a way to spoil me and the boys. An extra 5 minutes of play so that the Lego tower can reach the ceiling – the boys’ eyes have never been wider. Special time in the basement with dad playing hockey – extremely loud shouts of excitement!

For me, I’m spoiled by the daily cup of spark (energy vitamin water) that he leaves on the night stand. He leaves for work before I begin my day, yet always says good bye with a gentle kiss and a cup of spark. Most of the time I don’t even wake up at his departure.  But I know he’s left for the day when I roll over to see my cup. I smile reach for my morning boost and my day starts with love.

Last night my husband worked overnight. So thos morning I woke up, rolled over and No Spark! As I cleared my head to recall the day and his schedule, I sighed. Surrendering to the fact that I will have to travel downstairs to the kitchen to make my own morning spark – tragic.  

Here’s to 6 years of not taking the small things for granted. Because at the end of the day love always wins. Family, love and Spark!

Early risers

It’s very rare that it surprises me. My body can sense it’s arrival.  But today, today I was happily surprised.

I generally welcome mornings slooooowly. The faint buzz of the alarm turned to subtle banter from Eric and Kathy force me to rise from bed. Honestly I’m usually already awake.  But I lay there listening to the morning show, scrolling through my phone. It’s a few minutes of me time before the grind of the day.

Today, as I indulged in the world of slicing I heard Noah calling me. A rare early riser – I knew he must be unsettled. Groggy I crawl from my dark cave of a bedroom. As I approach the hallway, a faint light shines through the window. Rubbing my eyes I see brilliant pinks, glowing oranges, a vibrant yellow just beginning to rise. The sun! I was  promised clouds and rain this week. Yet this morning I spied a sun rise! A promise of approaching warmth. A promise of a new day filled with hope.

Hugs kisses and covers helped Noah resettle. I walked back through our hallway with a smile. Not a bad way to begin a Monday… happily surprised by the arrival of spring sunshine peeking above the rooftops.

3 am slicing

Family parties are quite the event these days. With 16 cousins, 8 great grandkids, aunts, uncles, great grandmas and great aunts filling the room, plus an infinite number of family friends and their vans of children, there is always someone to catch up with. The little kids have a blast running around kicking balls and playing chase. It’s getting easier for me to release my lil guys into a sea of family, knowing they are entertained and safe.

Tonight, as I settled into a conversation with my aunts, I feel Noah begin to climb onto my lap. I welcome him up yet carry on with my conversation. Clearly unimpressed with his lack of full attention, Noah gently kneels on my legs, takes my cheeks in his tiny 2 year old hands, looks me in the eye and beckons in a barely audible voice, “Mama, you cuddle me for a couple minutes?”

Suddenly the chaos of the party is silenced. It’s just Noah and I. My cheeks in his hands. Nothing else in this world matters. I plant a kiss on his perfect little face and squeeze him with all of my love.  Noah rests his head on my shoulder, his fingers gently dance through the ends of my hair. I close my eyes and feel Noah relax in my embrace.

Slowly the laughter of the room returns. Noah sits up, comforted yet not ready to leave my side. I half way return to my conversation, half way remain in my Mama – Noah world of love.

After quite some time has passed Noah returns to his game of chase and I to my adult conversation. Yet I cling to the memory of those cuddles, knowing they won’t last forever.

Laughter is life’s best medicine


I would usually unwind and reach for a smooth deep red to fill my glass. Tonight, that wasnt an option, so I grabbed my play list and my 2 giggly boys – who ironically both wore red today! – and had a stellar dance party. We laughed and danced and laughed and played and laughed until all was right in the world.

I’ll finish the evening happily with my family. Dinner bath bed. Our routine. After reading a friend’s post about story time, I’m going to remember to savory tonight’s bed time stories with my boys.

Things are looking up. Tomorrow is a new day.

An Irish Prayer
May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,



Oh my Noah!  My perfect sour patch kid. You have dimples like dada and the fiery fight of your mama!

Nobody gives better squeezes than you!  Yet I dare not ask for a famous hug or I will be graced with a powerful NO, I NOT WANT TO SQUEEZE YOU.  Picking you up from day care is the greatest joy!  Bursting with energy, full speed ahead you barrel into my arms declaring – I miss you all day Mama!!! My heart is full.  Reviewing your daily chart I noticed you didn’t sleep during nap.  Curious I ask you, Nonos did you nap today baby?
You look me in the eye and state very matter factly  – Nope!
I tip toe towards the danger zone of questioning you – Why not baby?
Cause I not want to!
Whelp there it is, the end of the conversation.

Hurrying to the car you stop me mid stride – Mama it’s chilly out, you have to put your hood up. I save you Mama. I melt in the freezing cold as you gently cover my head and kiss my nose. Safely to the car I offer you assistance as you clumsily climb up to you car seat. You answer back with a stiff arm and a firm – I do it by myself!

Once home we cuddle on the couch.  You pull my arm around your body and snuggle in close. I pause and remember this moment. Truly one of my most favorite parts of the day. 

The evening is filled crashes as you sing us songs, then throw the mic, build magnificent towers then abruptly knock them down, politely clear your dinner dishes then launch them into the sink.

My Nonos. You are a self determined, perfectly cuddly bundle of energy. You are my pride and joy. I love you baby boy!