Willa for President

I didn’t need Hillary to win last night to prove to my daughter that girls can do anything. That hard work sometimes doesn’t lead to the results you want, but you must never give up. That the world isn’t her oyster; it’s a sea of all sorts of fish. Some of them are delicious and…

6 Reasons Not to be a Halloween Hater

Halloween is around the corner. It’s one of my favorite times of year. Fall weather, pumpkin patches, my kids leaping off furniture dressed as their favorite superhero. What’s been surprising to me lately is a small number of parents who are—let’s call them—Halloween haters. To sweeten their animosity towards this kid-friendly holiday, here are a…

We Bought Our Kids Sheep…and Why You Should Too

I had visions of us all slipping on our matching Hunter boots and walking hand-in-hand to the barn where the sheep are patiently waiting. Five months after purchasing two Shetland yearlings, I’m realizing this will never happen. Ever. Let me be frank: my kids are spoiled. They live in a huge house, have their own…

To My Firstborn’s Kindergarten Teacher

Dear Mrs. Roberto, You don’t know me yet but you’ll notice me at kindergarten orientation. I’ll be overdressed. That’s because I don’t get out much. About a year and a half ago I quit to become a full-time mom. My oldest of three is about to start kindergarten in your class. I was nervous about…

5 Ways to Make Your House Look Like You Don’t Have Kids

“Where’s all your stuff?” It’s a question I’ve treated as rhetorical since the first of my three kiddos was born. We’ve lived in a cookie-cutter suburbia home, an 800 square-foot cottage and a completely open timberframe in the sticks. But one thing remains the same with each location: I’ve learned how to manage the mess….

Fast, Focused & Fun: Inside the Mind of a Happy Fixer Upper

We were in and out of Home Depot in 23 minutes. “It’s not my first rodeo,” I joked as I pushed the stroller out the exit. My husband and subcontractor were pushing my tile, backsplash and grout selections through the checkout isle. Trips like these with one–or sometimes all three–kid in tow are actually pretty…

My Pledge as a Parent on Social Media

Like so many other mornings, we played in the lake. Only this time we let the baby out of his pac n play. Ryker, my oldest, is behind Van making sure he doesn’t fall backwards. Willa is telling him to smile. Van can’t wait for me to take the picture so he can resume sneaking…

5 Lessons Learned from Preschool Graduation

It’s okay not to smile. By the time the hour-and-a-half ceremony ended, the shiny polyester robe had run its course. Ryker was clawing it off when he exited the stage. He wanted to go home, sit in his underwear and eat cake. But mom had no less than 30 pictures to take. As you can…

5 Steps to Prevent a Birthday Party Blowout

“When’s Spider-man coming”? My almost five-year-old asked, matter-of-factly, just a few days shy of his birthday. I immediately bristled at his question. Are you kidding—I thought—what a brat? Until, I started doing a rundown in my head. Two superheroes last year, a costume party for his little sister’s birthday, bouncy houses, hayrides, balloon animals, face…

Travel Tantrum Tips for Kids (Grown and Little)

Paris, Alaska, Canada, Amsterdam and several flights to Florida—almost all before their third birthdays. While I had visions of my toddlers reclined in their seats, sipping chocolate milk as they tapped away on their tablets, our jet setting has been anything but smooth. As a well-traveled parent, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep the…

Top 5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Transitioning Parent

It’s been a little over a year since I made the transition to stay-at-home mom. As if tabling 15 years marketing experience and a Masters degree wasn’t terrifying enough, then came the comments. Friends, family and people at Giant Eagle had a lot to say. Despite their intentions, here are some common quotes and misconceptions…