Joiner

For only sharing half of their genetic makeup, my children are remarkably similar. They look the same, especially as babies. They react in much the same way to frustrations. They both have picked up my facial expressions, which is hilarious and horrifying. They both ate anything in a soy sauce marinade before any other adult flavor. They have the oddest sense of fashion I have ever encountered. 

They’re both, of course, perfect. 

There is one way in which the genetics totally tells, though. My daughter is brilliant, outgoing, and would join a hiking group through the Himalayas because she just loves to be with people all the time! Doing things! 

My son is brilliant, outgoing, and would be content cuddling with me on the couch doing nothing with no one for the next thirty years.

My daughter resembles all the stories I’ve heard about her biological mother- fun and people-loving and always interested in a fun activity.

My son resembles me, who sometimes thinks about when I used to think I was going to die alone and wonders what was so bad about that?

I really, really don’t like doing things. I love my friends. I love getting together with them. I really do. But if you ask me for an example of a perfect day, it will involve my book and my coffee and maaaaybe my husband but that is definitely it. I’m totally happy being by myself and doing things at home.

I was like that as a kid too. I really loved things I could do myself- horseback riding and gymnastics and reading. I really hated things I had to do in a group- 4H and Girl Scouts and…conventional education.

Buddy is a lot like that. For instance, we’ve gone to a few homeschooling groups. Squeaks runs away from me to join the crowd and learn stuff and make glittery crap I’m going to have to throw away after she goes to bed.

Buddy is either flat on the floor in political prisoner mode refusing to move, or throwing the biggest most embarrassing fit ever. 

(Have you ever seen a group of homeschoolers? THEY’RE PERFECTLY BEHAVED.) 

It’s gotten to a point where I’ve had to stop threatening him with going home when he’s misbehaving because he immediately beams and says, “OKAY!” 

So I signed him up for toddler gymnastics with some trepidation. I figured it would be 30 minutes of me cajoling him into the gym, assuring him that running around like a crazy person was in fact a super fun way to spend the afternoon, and then barricading the door so he couldn’t get out and run for home.

We got there yesterday a few minutes early. I watched him carefully for signs of clinginess, half wanting them, figuring at least then I could go home and get dinner going. (I’m still not a joiner.) 

Instead he puffed up his chest and said, “Me not scared. Me brave.” Okay then.


And then he proceeded to run after the teacher and do everything he was supposed to and generally act like a normal kid who was happy to be doing something other than watching Pocoyo while sitting on my head to get as close to me as possible.


Maybe he is a joiner a little bit too. 

What even am I?

I’ve spent a lot of this last academic year changing my mind and figuring out what I think about things. A lot has changed in the last year- in the world, in the church, in my family, and even in my children.

We’re in a…precarious position in the United States. We’re in a…precarious position as traditional Catholics. Seven and four is way different than six and three for kids in terms of needing explanations for things.

So it make sense that this blog, which has always been an opportunity for me to vomit on the computer screen whatever it is I’m thinking of or worrying about make it remotely funny, has been changing a little bit this year too. I finally made my mind up that I would post regularly on Tuesday and Thursday, mostly because I love a schedule. But I dabbled in makeup and stuff and…meh.

I’m not a beauty blogger. I won’t ever be a real beauty blogger. I realized I just don’t care enough. It’s not my passion. I love makeup. It’s super fun. I’m still going to write about fun new makeup I get and stuff if it makes sense to, but I realized that I’m not a beauty blogger.

I feel like we hit our stride with homeschooling this year. Last year was such a mess with me being…a mess, and Squeaks being…a mess, and just…well, mess. This year though, we’ve been great. I’ve made an effort to take care of myself spiritually too, which has completely changed the way I relate to my kids and their education.

I love homeschooling. I’m super happy homeschooling. I love writing about how it impacts our family, and the changes it has led to in our family.

I love exploring my faith and growing even deeper in my knowledge of the Church. So long I was focused on academic understanding, and that’s great. It has helped me so much to understand the history of the Church. But in the last year I’ve begun to experience it more fully and I love that. I love writing about that.

I have an opportunity to start writing for a Catholic blog, and I’m super excited to begin that.

It won’t change anything here- I’m still going to post twice a week with ridiculous things that cross my mind. But it did make me realize that this is who I am. I’m a homeschooling mom who loves the Catholic Church who swears sometimes. And also likes a good long-wearing eyeliner.

And I’m fine with that. I don’t need a YouTube channel and a go pro and followers. I love just writing about what is really important to me right now at this season of my life.

It's a good thing. 

Guys it’s time for my favorite part of the month! Reading Martha Stewart Living and hating myself!

I like to think of myself as a Martha Stewart girl. I genuinely love entertaining. I love pretty things. I can organize the heck out of just about anything. I use washi tape in my planner. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO MARTHA. MAKE ME YOUR SERVANT.

But then the actual reality of my life does not always (i.e., never) actually match up with the story in my head. My kids eat almost exclusively Super Why cereal. I love to entertain but it’s super hard to find babysitters. Most of my pretty things have had to be moved away from little grubby hands. I can organize tons of crap, but only because if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t even be able to put pants on most days.

I only use washi tape in my planner because I so frequently write things down incorrectly.

Tonight might be a new low, though. I’m reading this while eating cold pizza on a kids plate I pulled out of the (maybe clean?) dishwasher. And it’s the March issue. It’s the end of April. Like, the last day of April. Oh well.


Anyway! Let’s begin shall we???


Letter from the Editor- always a good start. The pretty bland lady clad entirely in white and leaning against a chair or something has words of wisdom JUST FOR ME, right? I’m sure she does. Oh, this month it’s about how she had to stop emailing people back all day long and enjoy her meals.

Um, okay. I’ll get on that as soon as someone other than Amazon emails me and I’m past the eating-cold-kid-leftovers season of my life.


Oh! Here’s a story on entertaining! Martha created a space-themed birthday party bonanza for her grandkids. For my children, I stuck a Curious George figure on a cake, bought a bunch of the really big bottles of wine, uncorked them, let 30 people allegedly related to me into my house, and sat outside drinking with my mom.

Funny, no one took pictures.

Nope. This will not be cute. This will look like you’re putting cheap mirrors on a pizza cutting board. Even I, in my pajamas and cold pizza, think that’s ridiculous.


YAAAAS MARTHA. Here  is a trend I can get behind. Peel off wallpaper. I’m still scarred from scraping wallpaper off of EVERY WALL IN THIS HOUSE with a screwdriver. A SCREWDRIVER. YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT.

So hey. I am all behind peel off wallpaper. Sign me up, Martha.

I mean, not me. Because right now I have pizza grease on my hands. But still.


Probs not very, Martha. Did you read the beginning of the post?


I want to be in the season of my life where I can spend $104 on a pen to make grocery lists. I’m still using the $10.99 pack I got for a baby shower a few years ago.


Easy. Don’t get cats. They’re Satan’s minions.


For even easier grating, buy a bag of grated cheese.


I don’t know, I always thought that I was pretty boring and white bread, but maybe I’m more on the edge than I thought. Because I have never felt like breakfast for dinner was rebellious.


Ooh! Yes! I want a vegetable garden! I have super fun images of myself wandering my gorgeous backyard in capris and cute flats with a hoe or something. Gathering my zucchini, etc, etc, etc. Imma read this.


Oh. Looks like a lot of steps. there’s like a whole part about figuring out where to put it. You don’t just buy containers and seeds and go to town?


Oh wow a building project too. Nope.


Oh, you’ve got to like plan it. Huh. That seems like a lot of work.  Also, last frost date? Bahahahha I live in the frozen tundra, bitch. I’ll let you know what weekend in June our last frost is.


I like how they combine all the actual work (or what I thought was the actual work) into one step right at the end. JUST TAKE CARE OF THEM AND GATHER THEM UP AND MAKE DINNER. IT’S FINE. IT’S JUST ONE STEP. YOU CAN DO IT.

You know what, maybe I’m not at the vegetable-garden season of my life either.


You know, I’ve always wanted a family friendly safari. For when I REALLY can’t stand my kids and want them to be eaten by lions. 

Oooh the last page is always collections. Or, as I like to call it- Shit Your Grandkids Are Going to Throw Away When You Die. While peeling your wallpaper off. This month- Little Crappy Boxes that You Can’t Fit Anything In But For Some Reason Even I have Like Ten of Them.


Also a turtle.

Oily Foundation. But, like, a good kind.

I’ve been in love with Tarte’s Maracuja oil for about a few months now. I got a little one in my ipsy bag and I loved it so much that I replaced it. For years I was doing Philosphy Hope in a Jar for day/night, but I started  using this oil at night instead. 


GUYS. It’s amazing.

I barely ever break out anymore, and if I do it’s always hormonal if you know what I mean. I feel like my skin is softer and younger looking, and my wrinkles on my forehead are decreased. 

But this week I tried something new- mixing it with my foundation. And guess what?

ITS AMAZING.

For the record, I used a beauty blender for all applications, since it’s the easiest way to seamlessly blend two liquids. 

First I tried it with tarte’s Water foundation. This is a nice, medium coverage foundation that already sits pretty well on my skin. Not too many problems with it being cakey.

But with two drops of the oil? Omg. This ish is amazing. It’s luminous, and blends right into my skin. 


I also tried it with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Foundation. I love this foundation but I really struggle with it being too cakey and sinking in to the fine lines under my eyes and on my forehead. 

But with the oil? NOTHING. I know. It did tone down the coverage a little bit but not the long-wearing potential- this still looked good at 10 at night. 


Super cool trick to make heavy foundations more wearable for daytime.

Finally, I made a cream blush with it and the Too Faced blush. Not great, but a pretty luminous finish.

Turning into my mom.

I am lucky enough to live a few towns away from my mom. Which is amazing, because I tend to not do too well at the whole “having a baby” thing or the “being by myself thing” or the “being a not-sad grownup” thing.

It’s nice to have her there to help.

And recently, I’ve noticed a fun trick she’s developed. She is able to throw her voice ten miles and have it come out of my mouth!

I know! Surely it’s not that it turns out that LITERALLY EVERY ONE OF MY OPINIONS IS HER OPINION.

I mean, it’s not a bad thing. I’ve always wanted to be like my mom. She’s an amazing woman. I just…didn’t realize that LITERALLY EVERYTHING I SAID WOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN SAID TO ME TEN YEARS AGO.

Here are some things I’ve said recently that made me think my mom had moved into my kitchen and started wearing a lot of leggings and tunics and developed an unhealthy interest in my husband.

Kid: “I’m done!”

Me: “No, you’re finished. You are not a turkey.”

~~~

“Oh! This is the most beautiful card you’ve ever given me!” (About a not-great card.)

~~~

“I just feel like the Extraordinary Form is timeless, you know?”

~~~

“Guys. This is not picked up. Seriously.”

~~~

“You can’t wear a two-piece swimsuit until you turn 18.”

~~~

“Because it’s not proper, that’s why,”

~~~

“Is that how a young lady is supposed to act?”

~~~

“I just feel like Amoris Laetitia leads down a bad road unless it’s clarified, you know?”

~~~

“Oh! This is the most beautiful…what is this honey? Can you tell me about it?”

~~~

“Fr. Martin got appointed to what now? *does non-celebratory shot*”

~~~

“Guys. Seriously. What part of this room do you think is picked up?”

~~~

“I got this super cool thing on QVC!”

~~~

“GUYS. THE THINGS ON THE FLOOR NEED TO BE PICKED UP.”

~~~

“Oh yay, such a beautiful piece of paper. I looooove it. Put it on my desk okay?”

~~~

“This is my favorite episode of Fixer Upper.”

~~~

“Sit down. We’re saying a family rosary.”

~~~

“You should be thankful that you’re homeschooled and get to learn so much fun stuff! When you get to college you’re going to be such a self-starter!” (As I’m forcing my kid to write sentences in cursive in Latin.)

~~~

“Purple sparkles are really fun! Just not for walls.”

~~~

“No, sorry, girls can’t get tattoos.”

~~~

“No, motorcycles are not fun at all. They are dangerous and sad.”

~~~

“Is that what Jesus would do? I didn’t think so.”

~~~

“Would you watch that with Mary sitting next to you? I didn’t think so.”

~~~

“Honey, should we watch Newhart or Night Court tonight?”

And hey- my dad can do it too!

“I know you’re tired and scared. Pray to the Blessed Mother!”

Easter Weekend in Pictures

(Just the unimportant non-church parts because I didn’t take any pictures at Mass.)

(Actually, as I was writing this it became apparent that I didn’t take a lot of pictures of a lot of stuff. So…here’s some pics of my kids from the weekend at random events!)

We awake on Good Friday to Buddy screaming about his ear hurting. 

Two hours and one early morning appointment later, we find out he’s really fine. But hey. At least it got us up early on a day when we had a huge long service right during naptime. That was a best. 

Not.


Saturday was spent mostly in the kitchen and yelling at Buzz to get the kids out of my way. 

It was super prayerful. 

We went to the Easter Vigil at night, and it was GORGEOUS. I was too busy trying to keep Buddy from burning the church down with our candles to take pictures. 

Back at home, Squeaks had written a note for the Easter Bunny that had questions and required answers. 


Funny, the Easter Bunny used the same stationary as the Tooth Fairy. Weird.


The next morning before Mass the kids opened their easter baskets.


The Rescue Bots were a big hit. The Baltimore Catechism not quite so much.

I don’t know why. I was pretty psyched.

We went to Mass and had one family over for a super fun breakfast. No pictures because I was responsible for the breakfast.

We spent the aftenoon at my in laws and there was all manner of fun.


Finally we spent the evening with my parents and once again I marvel at the grandparents’ ability to do freaking egg hunts when I was super impressed I was wearing clothes that matched and had showered recently. 


Have a blessed Easter Season! 

Homeschooling Holy Week

Holy Week with little kids (or medium kids) (or, hell, probably big kids too) can be…trying. It’s beautiful and wonderful but so much to do and so many naps missed.

(Full disclosure, it is I who weep for the loss of naps, not my three-year-old.) 

I think it’s so important to mark this week with them though- these are the most holy days of our year, and hopefully just having them be there (even if they’re asleep in my arms in pajamas, like Buddy usually is during the vigil) will be a good memory and lesson for them. I have nothing but happy memories of attending the Triduum liturgy as a kid (enough to know that it’s one liturgy,) and while I’ll write more about how special it is to our family next time, it’s such a beautiful time.

So obviously we attend the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, Good Friday services (not Mass- one of my religious pet peeves, right up there with the Immaculate Conception being about Jesus) and the Easter Vigil.  That forms the basis of our week and is what I’ve tried to build the curriculum around this year. 

Squeaks is in first grade, so she’s getting more in depth this year. We’re reading the Passion narratives in her Magnifikid. This serves two purposes- she gets to read them out loud and learn things and talk about them with me, and she is familiar with them (including physically on the page) on Thursday and Friday when we go to church. 

This year we’re starting a new game too- a Holy Week trivia game! 


I know! Get excited! 

There’s a board (kind of) and everything but this year she’s pretty little so I just go through the (easy) questions with her and she gets a certain number of points, which get translated into sacrifice noodles.

Kid loves her some sacrifice noodles.


We’re also bringing back the Resurrection Egg set from last year. I bought it, because I’m lazy, but I know you can make them too. It’s super cute, each egg has a symbol of the Passion in it, and you read a little story about each one.

(Okay I have to edit the stories because mine were written by a Protestant company and are just a TEENSY bit heretical.)

(Again. LAZY.)

Squeaks looooves these. She literally asks for them all year. 

We also make an effort to do the stations of the cross this week. Our parish does a living stations with the school kids tomorrow night, and we absolutely love it. We’ve taken the kids the last few years and it brings it to life in a way they have never seen before.

So that’s our cobbled together Holy Week curriculum/tradition. Stay tuned for next year when I get my shit together and buy purple fabric to drape all of our statues. 

My alma mater is Netflix.

So since I watched both The Staircase and Making a Murderer in a week, I’ve basically considered myself a criminal defense attorney. I mean, that’s how it works, right?

(My mom, an actual attorney, informs me that is not how it works.)

And as a good lawyer, I’m always in the market for good continuing education. So when everyone and their brother started releasing books about the Avery case I was like UM SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

(Note to my husband: I didn’t buy them all. Just Jerry Buting’s. Consider it a donation to St. Francis Seminary.)

I was really interested to see not only whether Buting wears boxers or briefs (He taunts us with that question in the last chapter but NEVER ANSWERS IT. I’m waiting for the sequel.) but also if anything changed my mind. When the miniseries came out, there was all this stuff about “the forgotten evidence” and “what the producers left out” and blah blah blah but nothing that was actually brought up managaed to change my mind that it wasn’t a fair trial.

So I started with Buting’s, the only pro-Avery book.


(I mean, let’s be honest. I’d have read it if it was a list of things he ate during the trial. STRANG BUTING FOREVER.)

My fangirling aside, Buting’s book is an excellent examination of not only Avery’s case but other wrongful convictions in Wisconsin history. He focuses mainly on the bullet, DNA, and bone fragments and does a really good job of explaining why there are major holes in the prosecution’s treatment of all of them.

The personal anecdotes add to the story and are not overwrought. (Like I could find a Buting story overwrought. Tell me more about Dean, Jer.)

Overall a really really good true crime book, and a good defense of the defense, so to speak.

Next I read Kratz’s Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What Making a Murderer Gets Wrong.


Um…this is not a good book guys.

Kratz obviously takes the opposite approach but doesn’t execute it with anywhere near the skill that Buting does. His tone is angry, aggressive, and nasty. At one point he suggests that if Dassey were to get a new trial and be freed (something which he seems to be in favor of for half the book?) it would only be a matter of time before someone else gets killed like Halbach.

Um. No. You can’t just accuse people of murder that hasn’t happened yet.

He examines much of the same evidence that Buting does, and presents some compelling facts (like the splicing of Coburn’s testimony, and the burned personal electronics in the burn bin) but does it in a way that comes across as vindictive and self serving. He repeats over and over again how he was wronged by this case. Literally. Over. And over.

The only redeeming feature was getting to read about his hilarious sex scandal.

The most annoying thing was that he goes on and on about how good of a guy he is to be writing this book primarily for the victim and then…doesn’t mention her at all.

Boo. D-. Would not read again. (Except maybe the funny parts about the sexting.)

Finally, I read Michael Griesbach’s Indefensible: The Missing Truth About Steven Avery, Teresa Halbach, and Making a Murderer.


(These titles guys. Seriously.)

Griesbach is the Manitowoc County DA and didn’t have anything to do with the case himself, but obviously works with many of the players. He begins the book by noting that he watched the show and was shocked- could this have happened? Did they do this to a person? So he set out to investigate the same material.

Griesbach investigates and relies on much the same evidence as Kratz but he does it in a much nicer (and more coherant) way. Griesbach isn’t as good a writer as Buting (there are paragraphs that make no sense, and I could not make heads or tails of his timeline- he’s watching the show and being surprised and then investigating all in the same night but it’s also Christmas and his kids are home and…? I don’t even know. That’s what it reads like. ) but he clearly and calmly goes through the evidence.

He disputes Buting’s conclusions about the bullet, the DNA, and the bones. He does do a thorough analysis of the evidence, I felt like. But it just felt like his final conclusion was based on “welll this is something that never happened before so it can’t happen” and that bugs me. It could happen. Buting and Griesbach flat out contradict each other on several things- notably, whether striations on the bullet are definitive proof that a bullet was fired from a specific gun. Griesbach says yes. Buting says absolutely not, there’s as much as 80% difference between bullets fired from the same guns. You basically have to pick a side, without being an independent bullet mark analyst.

(I’m not, although I have watched a lot of CSI.)

So did it change my mind?

Not really.

I’m more convinced than ever that if anyone other than Steven Avery murdered Halbach, it had to have been someone on the Avery property, doing most of the “framing” to look like Steven Avery did it himself.

But from my perspective, there still wasn’t enough of an explanation to explain the key without any DNA, the DNA test being used despite being compromised, or the bones not having been moved to have allowed for a conviction. I’m not saying he innocent. At all. I’m just saying it doesn’t make sense to me that it happened the way they said it did.

Either way, if people release more books and shows about this, I AM RIGHT THERE BABY LIKE THE BOTTOM FEEDER I AM

Latin for Dummies. (And 7-year-olds.)

I had a lot of reasons for deciding to homeschool my kids, like I don’t like being told what to do and other people annoy me.

(Also intelligence blah blah blah.)

(Basically other people though. They really bug me.)

But a big part was that I wanted to give my children a classical education that prepared them to be civilized, cultured adults who knew things about a lot of the world and could learn more and discuss things like reasonable people.  I didn’t see a lot of this happening at the schools I had access to, and while there are great options like Aquinas Academy in our area, I was certainly not in a financial position to do those.

And I knew from the beginning that Latin was going to play a huge role in my curriculum. My husband and I have something like eight years of Latin between us, and we both think the fact that the other studied it is adorable.

(Nothing gets me hotter than a properly declined noun.)

I just think there are so many benefits- spiritually as Catholics, culturally as, well, cultured people, and neurologically since it’s totally a foreign language even if it’s dead.

Our daughter is in first grade this year, and the curriculum company we use for most things offers a great early elementary level Latin program. I added it to my cart, broke it up into weekly lesson plans, and got psyched to impart my wisdom on my kid. Ahhh.

And then…it imploded. This program? Is awesome. Really. It is. Check out the Prima Latina program from Seton.

But it is NOT how my seven-year-old currently learns.

It was frustrating to me, since I really wanted this to be a part of our homeschooling. But I didn’t want to squash her love of learning by forcing her to do things she didn’t like when it was clearly not working. But then I’m her teacher so I have to force her to do some things she doesn’t want, so maybe this should be it?

Anyway, by Christmas break, Latin was increasingly getting ignored because I didn’t feel like fighting her to sit down and use a workbook.

I figured we’d have to wait a few years to tackle Latin. I get it, I mean, I was in seventh grade when I started, and my husband was in high school. It wasn’t the end of the world. But I really loved the idea of it being such a part of her life from the beginning. And I knew that other schools (like Aquinas) did it with great success.

So I prayed to the Blessed Mother about it for like two months, and continued ignoring it.

A tiny little idea came to me.

Just teach her the Ave Maria.

I can do that. I’ve taught her literally every other prayer I know. I’ll just teach her the Ave Maria and even if she doesn’t sit down and use the workbook, at least she’ll learn some of the words.

And then I realized- SHE’LL LEARN THE WORDS. Literally, this is how to teach children anything.

(Sometimes I wonder if Mary is sick of my stupidity.)

So I taught her the sign of the cross, and the Ave Maria. And once we did that- amazing things happened.


I realized I could weave Latin through the rest of our school. We recite the prayers together all the time. I sing her the Ave Maria (Gregorian chant version- I do not have a great voice, and it’s the only one that doesn’t make ears bleed when I attempt it.) We practice cursive and handwriting by copying the Latin words.

We even used it as an art class- I write the Latin words and English words on a sheet and the kids cut them out and glue them on to construction paper. I laminate them and put them on a ring and they have a special prayer book to bring with them in the car or to Mass.


There’s no fighting, my kids are learning new things and praying a ton, and even the stuff I was worried about don’t seem to be an issue. I was concerned that they’d just memorize words and never really think about what they mean. But last week my daughter was reading her card and said, “Mulieribus- that means something about women right?”

Heart= warmed.

So that’s the wisdom I’ve picked up from this second year of homeschooling. You can teach your kids things. Hard things. Just make it small and fun and not terrifying. Don’t flip out about it.

And pray. Because Mary will listen to you. Even if you should have been able to figure this out before.

Mommy

It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow, and I’m having trouble writing this post. Not because there isn’t enough to say, but because there literally is nothing that she is not to me. 

She is my best friend, my first and best teacher, and the person who cares more about me than anyone else in the world.

She (and my dad) has given me everything in my life. She raised me to know and love God, she taught me how important family was, and she loves me no matter what.


The only time I’ve ever really been unhappy in life was when I was pushing her away.

She loves my husband and my children and genuinely delights when I am happy.


She will help me with anything. Any time. For any reason. 

Last year, I did a 60 times I loved you thing for her 60th birthday. There are so many more than 60.

She sat in the nicu with me every day all day when I was born, never stopping praying or believing that I would be okay. 

She kept me hooked up to a heart monitor waaaay longer than she was supposed to because she worried about me.


She quit her lucrative job to homeschool me even though she had no idea what that meant really.

(And look! It changed generations!) 

She listened to me go back and forth over every single academic decision I ever made. 

She was super proud of me for having an office.


She sat outside my thesis defense and took a picture of the window of the room I was in because it was that important to her.

When I passed, she was the first person I called. Not my fiancé. Not my friends. My mom. Because no one had been through more with me and cared more about that day.


She took my husband and my daughter into her heart immediately and helped me become the wife and mother I want to be. 

She wore a dress to my wedding even though she really didn’t want to.


She knew I was pregnant with Buddy before I told her. 

She knows when I need help without being told. 

She helps me literally every day with something.

She is amazing.


Throughout everything, even at the worst times, I have never been able to consider a life without her. Because a life without her would be a life without a part of myself. 

I love you, Mommy! I can’t wait to celebrate another year with you! 

(And by celebrate I mean have you take care of my crap for another year.)

(Yay! Get psyched!)