Something snapped in me this week.

The clutter that surrounds me is overwhelming at times.


My mantra lately has been “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Right now everything does not have a place.

I have been reading articles about de-cluttering and the psychological reasons clutter.

It’s a rough one, if someone wanted to come do it for me (or at least hold my hand) I wouldn’t hate it.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I know it will be worth it.

Hello Kitty, Hello Addie

I took before pictures of my bedroom last night. When I look at my bedroom, I just see my bedroom. When I look at the pictures however…whoa man, that’s an entirely different story.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris

I’m working on it Will, I’m working on it.

Do you have any clutter advice or words of encouragement?

Perhaps some of you notices Vivi’s sweet new wheels in recent pictures. The bike is a Smart Trike Dream and it’s kind of amazing. I wrote up an entire post about it over at Babble, complete with photos, red leopard boots and Vivi’s chubby little knuckles. The best part is I get to give one away.

For the full review, check out my article on Babble, then come back here for bonus entries for simply checking out where Vivi stores Bunny and how your child can get even more use out of the Smart Trike Dream. (Sorry it’s kind of a funny way to do a giveaway, there’s a reason, but it’s pretty boring. I’m just excited for one of you to win this sweet bike for someone little in your life!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided one Smart Trike Dream in purple in order to facilitate my review. Opinions are my own, as usual. The Smart Trike Dream is available at Toys R Us for $129.99.

a bunny and a glove.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

Addie at 8

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny and a glove.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

try some snow!

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

Addie at 8

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

a bunny, a fox, a kitty, a bike and some snow.

Saturday – Hang out with Shireen, eat copious amounts of food and leave our server Shireen’s number because I know fireworks when I see ‘em. Come home, terrible things happen to my stomach but I keep them hidden because as far as Cody is concerned nothing terrible ever happens to my digestive tract. Keep calm, carry on. Uh-oh. Sulfur burps. Gross. I mean honestly, is there anything grosser? Fall asleep fitfully, sleep terribly from stomach discomfort.

Sunday – Sleep in (thank you) awake to Cody mumbling “You need to be with the girls. I have a stomachache.” Oh dear. Two down. Kind of want to say something snide to Cody about the flushable wet wipes he makes fun of me for buying, realize now is not the time. Somewhat uneventful day, realize through twitter and Facebook it seems as though EVERYONE has or has had stomachflupocalypse. Perhaps Saturday night was the worst of it for me and Sunday the worst for Cody?

Monday – Normal day, bit of a rumble in my tummy but nothing major. Urban hunting and gathering at Costco and Nordstrom Rack. Normal night. Cody has recovered.

Tuesday – Wake up and realize I’m not doing better, dry heave a few times because dry heaving is totally amazing (not.) Rely on horizontal parenting from the floor and Sesame Street to keep everyone happy and out of the knife drawer. At night Addie sulfur burps ten feet away from me, “Addie? Do you feel okay?” turns out the kid has felt horrible, barfed in private because she didn’t want to bother me and is having backend issues as well. Three down. (This is where I mention that Vivi is the one that started all of this last week, she’s exempt from this terrible list.)

Wednesday - Addie sleeps in, feels better. I ask Cody to take Vivi to daycare so I can catch up on SO MUCH WORK. As soon as they leave a wave of nausea hits me. “Oh no.” Vomit. Crash on the couch. Wake up at noon. Attempt to eat, realize eating was a horrible idea, vomit, crash back on the couch until 3. Try to watch TV but realize that would involve sitting up to get the remote, I don’t watch TV. Cody brings home pizza, I manage to eat a little something bland, surely the worst has passed.

Thursday – The worst has not passed. Sobbing is involved as soon as I awake. Vomit, so much vomit. I have a bruise on my forehead from where I smacked it on the faucet in the midst of a terribly powerful heave (fun fact: while pregnant I learned that when it comes to dry heaving and/or vomiting bile the kitchen sink is a much more accommodating place to toss cookies (or lack thereof in this case.) Realize I cannot parent. Call Cody. Call the doctor. Cody takes Vivi to daycare (bless you drop in daycare) and I collapse on the couch. Call confirming a prescription of Zofran comes at 1, beg Cody to pick it up for me at 1:01. Zofran on board around 1:13 and *knock on wood* so far so good.

Silver linings:

Zofran. Bless you Zofran and bless you Dr. C for giving it to me.

Drop in daycare. Seriously. When you don’t have family or friends around? Drop in daycare is pretty much the best thing ever.

Cody’s job. He’s five minutes away and the pharmacy is right between his office and our house.

My job. One instance where work from home wins everything.

I am really good at vomiting. All that practice from pregnancy, you know? So while I may hate it, it’s really no big deal as long as I’m not expected to be a functioning human being.

Birth control. Yeah, I haven’t been this sick outside of pregnancy ever. But what I went through yesterday and today would be considered normal days during pregnancy. Guess who’s staying on birth control for a REALLY LONG TIME? This girl, right here.

Cats. Wink and Percy have probably had the best three days ever, a warm body to sleep on for at least 18 hours out of the day? I’m such a cat person and I love mine dearly.

If you simply have to be sick, be sure to have a couple of these guys  around.

So how about you and yours? Have you made it through the stomach flu of 2012/2013 or are you next?

Over on Babble: It’s the start of a New Year, time to look back at some of the best bits of the old one, in little square photos from my phone.
Episode One.

Episode Two.

Perhaps you’ve heard it’s the worst flu season in a long time? YAY 2013, way to kick things of right (wrong.)

As a seasoned vomit expert, I’ve compiled 10 things all parents should know/do/be prepared for in case the barfs come to your house. While it may not make it any less gross, it will make it a lot easier to clean up (you’re welcome.)

Meet Joe Horrigan,vice president of communications and exhibits at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Joe is considered one of pro football’s foremost historians and has worked for the Hall of Fame for over 35 years, 19 of which he was a curator and researcher for the museum. Joe is also a loyal Bills fan.

Meet Scott Sillcox, previous president and owner of Toronto-based Maple Leaf Productions where “over a period of almost 15 years, Sillcox spent many thousands of hours researching the history and evolution of NFL uniforms. Sillcox, a meticulous record keeper, created research files for every single season of every NFL.” -Source Heritage Sports Art

Curious what half a century of Broncos uniforms looks like? Scott has compiled them all. From the terrible first version in yellow and brown to the much hated blue uniforms of the 90′s back to the current day orange uniforms worn every game this season. Heritage Sports Art has every uniform of every NFL team in one place in case you’re curious to see how your team’s uniforms have evolved.

What do these two fellows have in common? Tide and the NFL brought them together to make short videos about the evolution of every current NFL uniform. I’ve only watched the Broncos video, and to be honest I didn’t think I’d care a whole lot about it. Truth? It was kind of fascinating. Next thing I’m going to do is find out about those awful Steelers throwback uniforms. Sheesh. Those things were terrible.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Two weeks ago when we packed up to leave for Utah, Cody’s orange jersey was still hanging in the laundry room. “Aren’t you going to bring that?” I asked

“It takes up an awful lot of room considering I’d only wear it twice.”

“If they lose it’s your fault. Are you ready to deal with that kind of guilt?”

You see, the Broncos hadn’t lost since Cody became jersey guy the week of his first ever NFL game in Cincinnati.

He brought his jersey to Utah and guess what? The Broncos now have home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

The orange jersey I didn’t understand has become a bit of a talisman in our house. The orange jersey that cost an awful lot of money has come to symbolize Sunday afternoons. The orange jersey Cody searched high and low for may very well be with us through a Superbowl win. Thanks to a little two minute video from Tide? I now completely understand why the jersey had to be orange.


Curious about the evolution of your team’s colors? Click here to see all the team videos available now.

Disclosure: Special thanks to Tide for sponsoring this post. I have been compensated for my time in promoting the NFL “They’re Not Just Colors” campaign, not for promoting a particular product. I’ve loved Tide (and the NFL) for a long time for free, always will.

My anxiety is not well managed AT ALL. Which leads to all sorts of fun things and by fun things I mean fear of doing anything.

When I think about how long it took to get my depression under control (11 years of constant effort, thank you) the thought of finding a way to control my anxiety leaves me kind of pissed off and grumpy. Thankfully my anxiety isn’t as debilitating as my depression, it’s just kind of obnoxious and annoying and ZOMG WHY CAN’T I JUST ENJOY STUFF ANYMORE? I used to love New York, how busy and loud it is. I loved walking through the streets hearing all the different sounds, smelling garlic one minute and sewer the next. I still love New York, but I kind of have to love her from afar. No Times Square, no Subways, no crowded streets…it’s all a little too much for me now.


If you were to ask me to describe what anxiety is like for me I would tell you that it’s like sitting in a tiny glass bubble where you can see and hear everything going on but you can’t get away from it. It’s as though someone turned up every noise to the point it encompasses my entire brain, I can’t quiet it, I can’t escape it and I can’t even think because it’s so loud and RIGHT THERE. There’s also a sort of tunnel vision thing, stuff gets very dark and blurry around the edges. Maybe that sounds a little crazy, I can only assume it’s different for everyone, but for me it’s like I’m being surrounded by speakers I cannot control the volume on.

Once I make it out alive (I have every time so far! Go me!) I am drained. Like the kind of drained you would feel when your first boyfriend broke up with you but only after you swam the English Channel fully clothed. Mentally, physically, and emotionally DONE-ZO. Naps are really the only option. Naps and gentle reintroduction back into society.

I’ve been working on a way to control it, a lot of deep breathing and meditation. Thankfully I feel more powerful over anxiety than I do depression, perhaps because it’s such a new thing, or perhaps I’ve fought depression for so long my fighting muscles are really strong. Who knows. Regardless, I’m still annoyed by it but recognize it as a very real part of my existence that won’t go away simply because I want it to.

It’s also the reason I would rather go back to the Ohio countryside than New York City if you gave me the choice. (No offense New York, it’s not you, it’s me. I swear.)

Here we are 2013, you and me. I have to admit, I’ve been slightly pessimistic about you, being superstitious and all. But just maybe you could be even better than 2012 (which I doubt, but then again I said things couldn’t get better after 2010 so maybe I should just quit saying BEST YEAR EVER because things do indeed keep getting better.) Like Amy said, maybe there really is only one shoe.

Oh powder. I miss you.

Saying someone can’t be sad because someone may have it worse is just like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else might have it better.

It’s Christmas Eve and there are a lot of sad people out there. There is one in particular, I hope you’re okay.

I am so happy to be home for Christmas.

It snowed today, just enough to cover everything but not enough to really mess stuff up. It’s truly lovely.

Little Red.

My sister got us tickets to see The Nutcracker, even better? We got to go backstage afterwards. I held The Nutcracker and hugged the Sugarplum Fairy, which basically means the eight year old in me was able to live out a giant gingerbread scented dream.

And then my sister and I held THE Nutcracker with THE Sugar Plum Fairy. #BalletWest

I found myself thinking “Don’t enjoy yourself too much, not everyone is having this much fun on Christmas.”

Not everyone is going to wake up in a warm house with their family tomorrow morning.

I could easily continue thinking about what I have that others don’t and bum myself right out before I even go to bed, worrying about people I don’t know and people I can’t help.

But that’s what I do, I worry about people. I wonder if I could be helping someone more, if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, if I’m fulfilling my part. The good part is that I feel like I am. I’ve tried to help the people I can help. I could do more, we could all do more. But I’m doing something, that’s what matters.

As we drove to our traditional Christmas Eve dinner tonight I tossed Cody out on a street corner to help a woman in a wheelchair who was stuck in a snowbank. Rather than simply helping her across the street he pushed her five blocks back to her home.

And then I shoved Cody out of the car to help someone stranded in a wheelchair. He's pushed her five blocks.

Have you heard about 26 Acts of Kindness? I hate the idea of keeping count, but I understand that’s how some people work. It really only takes one random act of kindness to convert you to the idea of going out of your way to help someone else. Pay it forward. Do unto others.

Kindness is a magnificent trait to posses. “Promote what you love rather than bashing what you hate.”

I love the ballet, I love Christmas, I love my family, I love sleeping babies, I love warm cookies, I love falling asleep in Cody’s arms, I love Sting’s ‘I Saw Three Ships’, I love when I feel like I’m helping people, I love laughing so hard I stop breathing, I love cats, I love twinkling lights, I love Disney movies, I love blue skies, I love donuts with sprinkles, I love hot chocolate with whipped cream, I love naps, I love hugging people, I love being so overwhelmed with happiness I can do nothing but cry, I love really nice headphones, and really comfortable pajamas.


No filter because no need.

Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus reflect.

Shadow of a swinger.

There are so many wonderful tiny little things around us everyday. “The happiest people do not have the best of everything, they make the best of everything they have.

My little family, the very best part of being me.

Those people up there? They’re the very best part of being me.

Merry Christmas. xo