More Skees Please in 2015

People said going from 3 kids to 4 was going to be a breeze...

...People were wrong.

Having Nolan in February was no doubt a huge blessing. After our trouble getting pregnant with Hudson, I truly didn't think #4 was even a possibility.

Until it was.

This surprise little guy has completed our loud, energetic, silly (and often smelly) family full of boys. So if the title of this post made you wonder if we were going to add another baby in the coming year, I assure you that is NOT the case. What I am referring to is the direction of this here blog in 2015 (not literally adding "more" Skees to the mix)...

Now that that has been cleared up, I think it's safe to say that clearly my blogging has been affected by the major life changes we've gone through this year. A move from Texas back to KY mid-2013, living with my parents while Ricky remained in Austin trying to sell the house, pregnant and hospital bed-rest last fall, convincing Ricky to buy a house in Louisville sight unseen (attempted to show him via FaceTime but kept losing signal), and finally moving in to said house in the middle of winter just 2 weeks after having a baby. Just writing all of that gives me anxiety. Until I remember that I don't have to deal with any of that ever again...then I relax. And laugh about it all.

Anywho, in the spirit of keeping things complicated, I decided to add "start a nonprofit organization" to my list of goals for 2014. I've always been the type who needs to stay busy, but perhaps I should have anticipated that having a newborn and raising 3 other boys was all the busy I needed.

Nevertheless, I did it.

I sketched ideas and mission statements on scraps of paper with a baby on my hip. I stayed up long after the kids went to bed and did research. I had help from family while I met with nonprofit attorney's and CPAs to ensure I had all my ducks in a row. And I'm super proud to say that as of October 30, 2014, apertOWL is officially a 501c3 organization. {Be sure to check out our website: to learn more about it!}

While managing apertOWL is going to be quite an undertaking this coming year, I am building a team of awesome board members who will help carry out our mission and ensure our success. I'm truly excited about the future of this organization and all the many ways we hope to help and inspire others affected by Apert syndrome.

With that said, I have missed writing. It is therapeutic for me and has been an amazing means of connecting with people world-wide. It has also led to many writing opportunities for various publications or blogs, representing brands (on tv!) and the ability to partner with companies to review their products and/or events. I don't ever intend on making More Skees Please solely a "review" based blog, the sponsored posts that I've written this year were just too good to pass up and I look forward to doing more in the future if and when they make sense.

Most importantly, I plan on carving out time every week to put pen to paper (or, well, hand to keyboard) and finally write each of the post ideas I have saved on my Notes app on my phone. I have literally woken up at 2 in the morning just to jot down my thoughts for a new blog post. Carrying around all those ideas in my head is getting heavy...I need to get them out!

Finally, I will be sprucing up the blog design and content in the coming weeks. I'd love to add more advertising on the site - so if you have a blog, business or product you want to promote, be on the look out for a more streamlined sponsor/advertiser page to get all the details. I will also be adding a "Public Speaking" page so that those who are interested in having me come speak to their schools, groups, etc. have a place to find the information they need. And of course I will be adding a direct link to apertOWL as I continue to work on expanding my efforts there.

In the meantime I want to thank everyone who continues to follow this crazy life of mine. I am humbled by the support and hope to keep some semblance of sanity in my role as "the coordinator of chaos" in the New Year!

May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! CHEERS!

PHOTO CREDIT: Bellissimo Photography

A Very "Minted" Christmas

I have made it my goal to take time out to update my blog more frequently. I have a long list (and I'm checking it twice!) of posts that I have swirling around in my head. But with all the craziness that is the holiday season, I am going to be honest, the deep, thoughtful writing will probably have to wait until the new year.

In the meantime, I am keeping it light and talking holiday cards. In my quest to find the cutest, most unique designs, I searched all the main sites: Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, etc. And then I went to and knew I had to look no further.

Last year I was pregnant and on bed rest and feeling not so "in the spirit" so I sent a basic old boring card just to get it done. This year we have so much to house, new baby...I wanted to find that certain special greeting. I had ordered my apertOWL business cards from Minted last year, and in all honesty, had kind of forgotten to check them out for holiday cards but I'm glad I did!

Check out the cuteness:

I LOVE all the different options. Once you choose your design (submitted by artists from across the globe), you can customize the color, shape, photos, and text. You can search by theme, holiday, number of pictures to include and more! And I just love the "highlight" styles that allow you to add a ton of details about your year in review.

While they are kind of pricey, they are comparable to the other sites I've looked at before. And in my opinion, these designs are so much if it ends up being a bit more expensive, it's probably worth it for that oooh and aaaah from your friends and family :) 

My holiday card tip: choose a design that the greeting/message can easily be snipped off to make a photo that is able to be displayed on a fridge or in a frame "year round". 

You can check out Minted's Christmas Cards here. And do it soon so you can take advantage of their current Black Friday deal: 20% off holiday orders $150+, 15% off $100+. Use BF14 at checkout, expires Fri 11/28!

You're welcome :)

DISCLAIMER: I was offered a credit to in exchange for writing a post about their holiday cards. As always, opinions are 100% honest and my own.

LEGO KidsFest 2014

Do your kids love LEGOS(R) like mine do? Then if you are within driving distance to Indianapolis, you won't want to miss this...

I haven't told the boys yet but we are going to load up and drive to Indy for this giant traveling LEGO(R) expo at the Indianapolis Convention Center. It features MILLIONS of LEGO(R) bricks with construction zones, life-sized models and displays. Some of the sets featured include the popular Friends, Chima and Star Wars collections. There will even be live Master Builders. The entire event spans 3 ACRES of space!

They are going to be as excited as when I told them we were going to Disney and I can't wait to spill the beans!!!

Tickets are just $20 for kids and $22 for adults. They sell out quickly for all sessions so don't delay! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

  • More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949.
  • The LEGO minifigure represents the world's largest population of people! More than four billion minifigures have been produced in the last 30 years. This is almost 12 times the population of the United States!
  • LEGO minifigures are out of this world, literally. The two Mars Rovers have an image of the LEGO minifigure etched into their front grill.
  • Approximately seven LEGO sets are sold each second.
  • There are about 62 LEGO bricks for every one of the world's six billion inhabitants.
  • Laid end to end, the number of LEGO bricks sold in a year would reach more than five times around the world.
  • There are 915 million ways to combine six eight-stud LEGO bricks.
  • Children around the world spend five billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks.
  • With a production of about 306 million tires produced a year, the LEGO group is the largest producer of tires in the world.
  • LEGO is the contraction of two Danish words, "leg godt" which means "play well".
  • There are about 62 LEGO bricks for every one of the world's six billion inhabitants.
  • 19 billion LEGO elements are produced every year. 2.16 million LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute.


I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for all the latest ticketing updates as this event has been selling out in prior cities.    Must be 18 to enter, 1 entry per day allowed, random drawing by USFG!

*DISCLOSURE: will be providing me with 4 complimentary tickets for my family to attend this event and 2 tickets for a giveaway. I will be posting more info during our trip so be sure to follow @MoreSkeesPlease on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

SlowCooker Recipes with Red Gold Tomatoes #RGrecipes

So the other day someone asked me to represent their brand by using their products to make a crockpot recipe and then share the recipe and review on my blog and then also on my local news stations Sunday morning show. I had to laugh because, well, if you know me, you know that would be...ridiculous. I hate to cook. I do it, but do I enjoy it? Not usually.

I get various requests like these from time to time and I tend to only choose ones that make sense and would be valuable to my particular audience. Before I committed, I double checked that they had indeed sent their request to the right person. They assured me they had visited More Skees Please and thought that as a busy mom of 4 kids, I would be a good fit for using Red Gold products to make quick and easy crock-pot meals.

Ahhh - yes, that does make sense. I do use my crock-pot quite a bit. Especially this time of year. Since I no longer felt like a fraud...I said yes!

When I received my package, I was pleased (and surprised) with the variety they included. I don't think I had ever noticed that you could buy Petite Diced Tomatoes flavored with Lime Juice & Cilantro or Garlic & Olive Oil. Yum! And while the recipe I chose didn't call for either one of those, I'm definitely going to find a way to try those out in one of my old standby's (tacos and/or baked chicken).

So, on to the recipe. I chose to make their Spicy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese (although since I was having my kids try it, I omitted the "spice" of the diced tomatoes with green chilies and substituted the regular diced tomatoes instead).

Have you ever had Outback's mac and cheese? You guys, this was better. Nevermind the fact that it probably has a zillion calories, this is comfort food at its finest...and with a twist. Adding the tomatoes gave it great flavor and Aiden loved it! Ethan on the other hand? Well, lets just focus on the the positive: the Red Gold diced tomatoes are large enough to pick out if you have a picky eater like I do!

Here is the recipe:


2 cups pasta of choice, uncooked
3 tbsp butter
8 oz American processed cheese, cubed
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

1. Place the uncooked pasta in the bottom of a 3.5-qt. crock pot that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Add the remaining ingredients, except RED GOLD PETITE DICED TOMATOES with GREEN CHILIES, to the slow cooker and stir until well combined. Cook on LOW for 4 hours.
2. Just before serving add RED GOLD PETITE DICED TOMATOES with GREEN CHILIES; stir to combine.

I am going to throw out there that while it didn't end up looking that great, it tasted phenomenal!

Now, the television segment. I had a blast but it was quite a bit of work. Not to mention that it was for their 6:00 AM show, so I had to be up by 4:30 to shower and get to the studio on time. Not exactly what a sleep-deprived mom of an 8-month old who JUST STARTED SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT (ugh) wants to do. But...if you know me, you also know I won't pass up an opportunity to be on TV :) And because I truly believed in the quality of the recipe and products, again, I felt it was a good fit.

Remember how I said it didn't end up looking that great? Well, reheated leftovers look even worse. In fact, one of the show's producers came in, looked at my "presentation" dish and said "What'd you make? Scrambled eggs?"


I laughed nervously and said, well, no, actually it is mac n cheese. Tasting is believing! He complimented my setup for the segment and also said: "Hey, you managed to make mac n cheese look nothing like mac n cheese. Congratulations!"

Well, what can I say. This is in typical Taryn fashion when it comes to all things cooking. We all had a good laugh which got out any lingering nerves before the live segment began.

Overall I think it went really well. I was able to talk about the fact that Red Gold products are made from tomatoes grown right here in the midwest in the Ohio, Indiana and Michigan regions. If you want to learn more about how the company seeks to accomplish their mission of "producing the freshest, best-tasting products in the world", visit their website at:

Also, Red Gold is giving away two slow cookers a day on its Facebook page. The promotion runs until October 8th! Just go to to enter.

Finally, I have a super cute red apron and a brand new wooden spoon that I would love to giveaway to one luck reader. All you have to do is comment below and tell me which of the following recipes (which can be found on Red Gold's website) sound the tastiest:

1. Slow Cooker Spicy Macaroni and Cheese
2. Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili
3. Rustic Italian Chicken
4. Homestyle Beef Stew
5. Sausage & Sweet Potato Chili
6. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I will randomly choose one person to win on Wednesday, October 8th.

Good luck!

More Than A Mom: How My Kids Helped Me Figure Out 'What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up'

To help me prepare for some of my upcoming speaking gigs (and to finally satisfy my dad's unrelenting request to join), I recently became a member of Toastmasters. Basically it is your dreaded college Public Speaking course but more formal...and more terrifying. I thought getting up in front of a small group of complete strangers and speaking would be easier. I was wrong. However once I got through my first big assignment - the ice breaker speech - I started to feel a little more at ease.

I decided to share my ice breaker speech from Toastmasters below. If you've been a long time reader of More Skees Please (thank you!) then you already know most of the story. If you are just landing here, welcome! This is a good "in a nutshell" piece to get you up to speed. Either way, I hope you enjoy! Thanks for visiting!

When you hear stay-at-home mom – what comes to mind? A working mom might think: Lucky. A career-driven, childless friend might think: Worthless. A family man might think: Traditional. A corporate ladder-climber might think: Incompetent.

“What do you DO all day?” some wonder as they envision the stereotypical images of lounging on the couch in fluffy slippers eating bonbons.

I was a gifted student, always applied myself, made good grades and went on to earn a college degree, but I never quite had a true sense of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Except I knew one thing for certain, I wanted to be a mom. Yes, and, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.

My husband, Ricky, and I both attended Bellarmine, although we met on spring break in Daytona – but that’s an entirely different story for a difference crowd. After graduating, I felt compelled to do a little soul searching so I enrolled in an acting course in Burbank, CA and headed out west with stars in my eyes. I had dabbled in acting as a child – starring in dozens of commercials, print ads and even a feature film called Men Don’t Leave where I played Jessica Lange’s niece. However, I quickly learned that being a child actor where your mom drives you to all your auditions and rewards you for a job well done with dinner at McDonald’s is vastly different than attempting to make show business a career as an adult.

While I excelled at Film School, the pull of home, and my boyfriend of several months, was stronger than my desire to become famous. At the end of the 6 weeks I made the trek back to the good ol’ midwest.

Shortly after that experience I found happiness starring in my own fairy tale of sorts. I married said long-term boyfriend in 2005 and we welcomed our first baby boy, in March of 2007. I had gotten a job in marketing just before our wedding and had every intention on continuing to work full-time...until I had my son. I loved my job, and was well-respected there, but I loved my new role as a mom even more.

We couldn’t afford for me to stay home at that point, so I presented my employer with a well-written
flexible work proposal. Knowing it might have been a long-shot, I was surprised when they granted me the opportunity to work from home a few days a week, the first ever flex schedule the company had approved.

Fast forward 3 months. My husband returned from a weekend bachelor party to find me anxiously waiting for him to start making dinner. “Check the oven first to make sure there’s nothing in it” I told him from the living room. Groggy from the festivities he had partaken in, I waited, and then heard “hey babe, why is there a bun in the oven?” Waited some more. Heard him whisper “there’s a bun in the oven” confused. And finally, he flew into the living room...”Wait, there’s a bun in the oven?” We were pregnant again and due before my first son’s first birthday.

Before our second baby boy arrived, we were nervous about having 2 so close together. We knew it was going to be tough. We had no idea how tough. Aiden arrived 5.5 weeks early and shocked everyone, including the doctors, when he presented with some major anomalies. His fingers were fused together, bound up in tight little fists. His toes webbed, his face scrunched. The room had gone silent – not even the OB or nurses had seen this before. We learned later that our second boy had something called Apert syndrome. A very rare craniofacial condition that occurs only once in every 160,000 births.

After a 2 week stay in the NICU, we were attempting to make sense of our new life. Along with his condition came appointments, therapies, surgeries. Needless to say it became almost impossible for me to consider going back to work. And thus, my stay-at-home mom gig commenced. Not quite the way I had envisioned it.

We are living a very different life than we had imagined as fresh-faced newlyweds, but one that is more fulfilling than I ever could have hoped. I am a mom, just as I had wished to be. And a stay-at-home mom to now FOUR beautiful boys. But the thing that is most amazing about our journey is how motherhood has defined my life. And I don’t mean in a bad way.

I’ve always loved to write and in an effort to keep family members informed about Aiden’s medical journey, I began this blog in 2008. Since that time, it has morphed into a lifestyle, parenting and special needs blog with an audience much broader than just friends and family. It has led to outside writing opportunities and published pieces. More importantly, through my blog I have been contacted by families world-wide who have a child with Apert syndrome. Seeing our positive approach and how we advocate for Aiden has inspired countless people. In turn, it has inspired me to take it one step further and create my own nonprofit, called apertOWL, with a mission to be a beacon of hope for those affected by this condition.

In addition, this fall I’ll be making rounds speaking to elementary and middle school kids about
celebrating and accepting differences. I am also scheduled to speak to nursing students about patient
and family centered care, drawing from our experiences in medical facilities.

So think again before you jump to conclusions about stay-at-home-moms. What some might view as a traditional role that wastes a good, solid college degree in my case has been nothing of the sort. I have the best of both worlds. Becoming a mom and embarking on an unexpected journey with a child with complex medical needs has changed me. It has strengthened my heart, solidified my relationships and inspired me to find exactly what it is I was meant to do. Motherhood has given me a purpose and a passion for something I never would have known without it.

I intend on making an impact...and some days I don’t even have to get out of my pajamas.

Spreading the #Choose Kind message

I spent years and years trying to figure out just exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I went to college, majored in Communications, got a job in Marketing after graduation and figured my "career" would be working in a job that I liked just fine but wasn't passionate about.

Then I became a mom and after many trials and tribulations, it all became clear. Through motherhood, I received the greatest gift of all: the answer to the "What do I want to be when I grow up" question.

A few Sundays ago, I stood before more than 100 people and shared my family's story for the first time in a crowd of that size. I put together a presentation that discussed Aiden's birth, the shock of learning he had Apert syndrome, everything he's been through including surgeries, challenges and teasing. Then I shared ways to address differences with our children -- based on situations I've encountered first-hand when out in public with Aiden.

At first, I was unsure that a group of my peers would find my story - and my advice - inspiring. But I trusted that what I had to say was valuable. That my family wasn't the only one who wanted to convey this very important message. That others might actually wish to tell people the same thing: talk to your kids about differences, encourage them to ask questions, set a good example for them...and just Choose Kind.

When all was said and done, I felt amazing. Person after person approached me afterwards letting me know how touched they were. They asked questions. They shared situations they've been in when they didn't know how to handle something their child had said about someone with a disability and thanked me, saying that now they knew what to do. I gave out my blog cards to some who wanted to share my contact info with this school or that group to have me come speak. To say that I left feeling extremely confident in my mission to educate others is an understatement. I can't wait to do more!

And do more I will...

In the next 2 months I have several different speaking engagements scheduled. Everything from addressing the topic of family centered care with a group of nursing students to talking with elementary-aged kids about the book Wonder and "Choosing Kind".

Perhaps the project I am most excited about is one that will be hitting the ground running starting today. This morning, I met with the principal and some staff members at my boys' school to discuss an idea I presented to develop a "Choose Kind" library. A dear friend of mine helped bring this project to life at her kids' school in Texas and I couldn't wait to share it with mine. As a member of the PTA, I shared the idea and in a few short weeks, not only has the school embraced it, but they have breathed life into it and jumped on board to make it a success on a level higher than I could have even imagined.

What is a "Choose Kind" library? Basically, it is a nook of the library that will house books with specific subject matter. Titles dealing with acceptance, differences, social challenges, etc. At my boys school, they've decided to hand this project over to a very special group of 5th graders. It will be their job to plan, organize fundraising for, and manage the creation of the "Choose Kind" library from start to finish. It has been designated as their annual "legacy gift" -- the item they leave behind for future students to enjoy. And what a legacy it will be!

I will be overseeing the project and helping them along the way and I cannot wait to see it come to life. It all starts to take shape in a few weeks when I present our story and talk about kindness at a school assembly with the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. Then the selected 5th grade students will kick off the project, sharing the library initiative with their peers for the first time. At the end of the year, we are planning a big celebration where we will invite students, their families and the community to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completed "Choose Kind" library. It gives me chills just thinking about the potential impact this project can have at our school.

But it doesn't stop there! The school has decided to match every book donated to the library as part of this project and give them to an underprivileged school in our area in hopes that they too will start their own "Choose Kind" library. We have a huge opportunity here to touch the lives of students beyond just those at our own school. I mean, how amazing is that?!?!

I can't wait to share our progress along the way.

Stay tuned!

*If you are interested in hearing more about the Choose Kind initiative and would like to have me come present at your school or community group, I would love to hear from you! Please email me at

No More Accidental Sharpie Tattoos (thanks to Label Daddy)

I know it's still technically July, but somehow doesn't it already feel like school is going to start any day now? Not trying to rush summer - I'm truly going to miss the lazy mornings where there's no hustle and bustle to get out the door - BUT I'm a planner so my school prep is starting to gear up.

On my list of priorities is to get and STAY organized this school year. I made the cutest, most nutritious school lunches for the first couple weeks of school (well, the first couple weeks at their new school...before then I was pregnant and on bed-rest so I didn't do much). It kind of waned as the year progressed and our schedules got busier. I hope to avoid sliding into the routine of dumping money into their school lunch account for them to "just buy lunch today". Especially since I had to lecture Ethan several times on the number of "extras" (ie. ice cream) he would purchase in a single week.

Another way to get things organized is to ditch the permanent marker when it comes to labeling my kids' stuff. I've written "Skees" on many a backpack, sweatshirt and jacket. It looks awful and the marker bleeds through the fabric (once Aiden had his name semi-tattooed on his neck after I labeled his sweatshirt and he immediately put it on...oops).

That's why labels from Label Daddy will come in handy. These labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels -- they're washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant! Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels and can pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including Disney and Marvel characters, MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. The exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must for camp! These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Want some of your own? You're in luck! Check out this offer for More Skees Please readers:
If you aren't sold just yet, give me a few weeks - when I get mine in I will share my thoughts in a review post.

*Disclosure: As a blogger offer through, Label Daddy will be providing me labels for the purpose of this review. As always, my opinions will be 100% honest. Stay tuned for the review!

Save 20% on Label Daddy labels for Back to School! Label Daddy is the number one solution for labeling your belongings! Remember to label all clothing, sports equipment and other personal belongings your kids bring to school, camp, sports leagues, day care, and other places. Label Daddy labels keep them from getting lost or mixed up with others.
Save 20% on your entire Label Daddy order - this is the best discount available anywhere. Use code USFAMILY20 at checkout.

I Better Brush Up on My Speaking Skills...

This fall I have been invited to speak to several different groups about Apert syndrome, Aiden's story and the importance of Choosing Kind. If you haven't seen already, my friend - and apertOWL partner - Kerry Lynch has been spreading the awareness throughout Chicago-area elementary schools by speaking to kids about her daughter Mary Cate who also has Apert syndrome like Aiden. Her story made the front page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune {see: Chicago family asks Chicago students to "Choose Kind"} and she was interviewed by the Australian Today Show!

Not only will I be addressing elementary students in grades K-8, I will also be sharing our story with students in the nursing and education programs at my alma mater, Bellarmine University, and with over 150 families in an adult formation group at my local parish. I am extremely excited about these opportunities.

For starters, being able to present to nursing students allows me to give them information about a rare craniofacial condition that many of them may never encounter throughout their entire nursing career (it only occurs approximately 1 out of 160,000 births). But if they should ever care for an individual with Apert syndrome, perhaps they will remember my presentation and recognize it right off the bat. With that being said, Apert syndrome is not the only rare condition they might come across, so hearing my perspective might be beneficial for them across the board.

Secondly, presenting to education students might spark ideas for them when they are one day in their own classrooms. With bullying so prevalent today, it will be a good reminder on the importance of "Choosing Kind" and how to foster an environment of acceptance among their students.

Next, I am really looking forward to engaging with the adult formation program at my church. Children have an innocent curiosity that can sometimes make for awkward situations. I've been asked by various adults how to go about handling these situations in an appropriate manner. They want to know what I would like to happen. I hope to provide insight into the kinds of things we have dealt with - both good and bad - so they can be more prepared if they or their child should want to know about another's disability in public.

Finally, I cannot wait to bring Aiden to schools and show them first hand that although he is "different", he is more like them than they think. He's just a normal kid with normal feelings. People with differences want to be accepted for who they are and NOT what they look like. Using the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio as a platform, I hope to convey the message: "When given the choice between being right or being kind, CHOOSE KIND!"

If you know a teacher/professor, church leader, group director, etc.
interested in having me come share our story, I'd love to chat with you!
I truly believe that education is key!

Email me at moreskeesplease [at] gmail [dot] com.

In the meantime, I'm going to take a Toastmasters class or two (my dad has been telling me to do this for YEARS) and hope that my passion for sharing about Aiden brings my nerves down a notch when I'm standing there, knees knocking, getting ready to present.

10 Things that Happened (or Didn't) When We Had the House to Ourselves

We were preparing to have out of town guests and from the looks of my house - occupied by my husband, myself and our 4 boys - it was a task even a cleaning service would turn down. Sensing the exasperation (and desperation) in my voice, my mom offered to take my kids for a few days. All four of them - ranging in age from 5 months (and not sleeping through the night) to 7 years. Now, I promise I love my children, but I am a woman who knows her limits. Let's just say I had them packed and loaded in the car before she could change her mind.

In order to ensure I got what I needed to get done accomplished (and didn't just sleep for 2.5 days straight), I made out a lengthy to-do list to keep me on track. On it were things like "clean the bathrooms" and "go to the grocery". You know, things that are pointless (bathroom cleaning) and anxiety inducing (grocery shopping) when you have 4 kids at home.

After meeting my mom for the drop off, I rolled up my sleeves and got right to work. Well...kind of ;) Here's how it went down:
  1. I thanked my mom for helping me out and just so she completely understood just how much I had to get done, I rambled off my list before leaving her with my munchkins. And then...I blared the radio and drove straight to TJMaxx. I mean one little shopping side-trip is bound to happen, might as well get it out of the way, right?
  2. When I walked in the door kidless, I may or may not have yelled "I'm FREE" at the top of my lungs. Because I could.
  3. I got to enjoy my morning french vanilla cafe in front of the television without having to first change a diaper, fix waffles and bacon or clean up a sippy cup that leaked on the floor (I mean do ANY of those darn things actually NOT leak like they promise on the package? LIES! All lies!) Never-mind that I watched an entire episode of Sheriff Callie's Wild West before realizing I could actually finish the 3 episodes of Real Housewives saved on my DVR.
  4. I could focus. Multi-tasking is SO much easier when the kids aren't around. Reading Facebook (without feeling guilty) AND cleaning the kitchen? Very possible when you aren't being pulled in 4 different directions by 4 tiny beings.
  5. The house got clean in half the time. This is because I didn't have a Hudson following behind me undoing any efforts I made at tidying up. Have you heard this saying before? ---> Cleaning the house when your kids are home is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. Yup. 
  6. The house stayed clean! I may or may not have taken pictures of every room, knowing that seeing it that clean again would be as likely as the next confirmed sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.
  7. In my head, my 2 day mini-vacation included getting my work done quickly and then lounging around taking naps while eating the "good" snacks hidden for moments when my kids aren't around. But...that never happened. It turns out that even when you have 2.5 days without the kids, you still feel guilty taking time for yourself.
  8. We had grand plans to have TWO date nights in a row? What?!?! That's unheard of. What actually happened was that we had take-out both nights and were in our pajamas by 8pm. Staying in and enjoying our quiet house trumped going out for overpriced dinner and drinks.
  9. And if you think that an empty house meant retreating to the bedroom for some sexy time? Think again. The minute we got into bed the only thing we could think about was SLEEP. Sweet uninterrupted sleep...
  10. ...which I can assure you doesn't exist once you are a mom. Although my children were miles and miles away, a mom's ears are trained to perk up at the slightest sound. I must've woken up no less than 10 times thinking I heard one of their cries from the other room.  
When all was said and done I got the house as clean as it has ever been (and ever will be) - and even managed to squeeze in a few doctor's appointments. But as excited as I was to have the house to myself, even when given a reprieve, once you are a mom it just isn't the same.

Summer summer summertime

Hi all! I've got a chance to write an update as I have taken the initiative to hire a sitter for a few hours here and there throughout the summer. Cause let's face it...momma needs a break sometimes!

Everyone is doing well. The boys wrapped up the school year with so many new friends and lots of memories made. I'm extremely proud of them for transitioning so well considering all the changes they've had over the past year alone. Three houses (Texas, my parents in NKY and our new house), 2 schools, 3 different teachers (Ethan's teacher at his new school went on maternity leave just a couple weeks after he started there), a new baby...sheesh, that's enough to induce panic in the most stable adults, and yet my kids handled it all with ease.

Here's highlights from our summer so far:


  • The boys brought home a flyer for the school talent show in May and told me they wanted to perform. They threw out a couple of ideas based on their - you know - talents which included playing MineCraft (?), singing random MineCraft songs (?), and acting out MineCraft scenes (?)...I gently encouraged them to think outside the MineCraft box and they settled on singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story. I would say we spent hours and hours practicing but that would not be true. We rehearsed a few times on the way to and from soccer and baseball practice and y'all, it was AWFUL and then OMG the actual day of the talent show came and I was a nervous wreck. They were either going to bomb it and giggle their way through the lyrics or they would nail it in all it's cuteness. OH MY GOSH you guys, they nailed it. A couple people in the audience were even sniffling as they performed. Crying actual TEARS! Proud momma moment for sure. If you missed you go!
  • I got the most wonderful letter from Aiden's teacher at the end of the year letting me know what a joy it was to have him in her class. She said he fit right in from day one and always brightened everyone's day with his generous heart and sweet smile. Kindergarten highlights...he is now reading independently which is always such an amazing thing to witness. He has made several really good friends even in just the short few months we've been here and since we are here for the long-haul I'm excited to watch these friendships grow through the years.
  • Ethan rocked 1st grade and is so ready for 2nd. The long-term sub that took over his class when the regular teacher went on maternity leave stopped me in the hall one afternoon when I was there eating lunch and she said Ethan is quite a kid. He was respectful, eager to learn, always had something to say when given the chance (and often when he wasn't given a chance as well!). He participated in the PTP program which is the Primary Talent Pool for the Gifted and Talented program. He is super smart and truly an overall good kid.

  • After kind of a bummer spring soccer season where Ethan's team showed little enthusiasm for playing and rarely showed up to practices and games, we decided to jump right into summer baseball through the YMCA. The season is already coming to a close and even with some game-day scorchers the boys seemed to truly enjoy playing. It was their first season of coach and machine pitch (rather than t-ball). I don't think either are going to be the next Babe Ruth but I will say they improved quite a bit from start to finish. Their last game is this Saturday...and if I'm being honest? I'm kind of glad!

  • On the last day of school, we picked the boys up and headed straight to Chicago for my cousin Joy's wedding. It was a beautiful day filled with lots of personal touches (she wore her mom's wedding dress!) and fun with family. I got to meet some of my cousin's kids that I hadn't met yet and the boys had a blast running around playing with everyone. Congrats to the beautiful bride and her new hubby!
  • The day after the wedding we hit the road again to spend time at our family's house in Michigan. I grew up going here and the house was always filled with cousins, aunts, uncles, lots of food and lots of Off! All these years later, not much has changed! There's multiple beds in every bedroom and it's a grab what you can kind of sleeping arrangement. Luckily, nobody wants to get stuck in a room with 4 kids including a baby who only *sometimes* sleeps through the Ricky and I usually get the very back room that is away from everyone else. And when the big boys get up for the morning, they go play...and we can't hear anyone!
  • We celebrated my niece Lilly's 9th birthday at Dutch Village in Holland, MI. I am told we went as kids, but I don't remember it at all. They had animals to play with and hold, a ferris wheel, old school duck races, a zip-line, and all sorts of demonstrations about Dutch culture (think wooden shoe making and wooden shoe dancing). I still can't quite believe she is NINE. It seems like yesterday Lauren was rocking her big ol' belly as my maid of honor in my wedding.


  • A few months back I connected with a family who had adopted a little boy with Apert syndrome. I noticed they were from Michigan and was surprised to find out they lived less than 30 minutes from where we would be. We made plans to get together for lunch at a beloved spot - Crane's Pie Pantry. Aiden was a little shy about meeting them at first, but soon warmed up and was his normal chatty self. This family was such a breath of fresh air. They had three biological children but were called to adopt and opened their hearts to Peter, who was left at the hospital in California after his Chinese parents were surprised by his diagnosis. We chatted about our amazing kids over apple cider and the daily special and when we were leaving, something Peter's mom said stuck with me. I told her how lucky he was to have a family like theirs take him in, love him and provide for him. She said, "We feel the exact opposite. WE feel so lucky that he has come into OUR lives." Gives me chills.
  • When our week in Michigan came to end, we made plans to meet another family as we drove back to Kentucky. They live about 40 minutes from our driving route back south so we arranged to meet at a Chik-Fil-A off the highway. I've been chatting with Jeannie Ewing for months now and up until that point had only exchanged messages via Facebook and email. It was so nice to finally get to meet her and her daughters in person. Sarah, who as Apert syndrome, recently turned 1 a few months ago and is the little sister of 4 year old Felicity. Ironically, my sister and her family had stopped at the same Chik-Fil-A ahead of us (not knowing that we were planning our meeting there) and when they ran into Jeannie, Lauren approached them and said "I have a nephew with Apert syndrome". They started talking and only THEN realized that the nephew she was talking about was Aiden and that she was actualy there waiting to me us! Too funny.

As you can clearly see, we have been busy busy busy this summer and we are just a few weeks in! The boys are in Vacation Bible School this week (which is really like a vacation for me!) so I'm utilizing my gym membership and the 2 hours of free child care that comes with it (although I may not always be working out...don't judge!)

If you don't already, you might want to follow me on Instagram and Facebook. I'm always sharing photos and updates there when I don't have time for a blog post.

Happy summer everyone!

Keep Up On Facebook...

Obviously y'all can tell I haven't fully gotten back into a regular posting schedule. I've just been so busy (I know, blah blah blah) and finding the time to sit down at my laptop to write has been difficult. 

But...I always have my phone with me so I'll continue to post frequently on my Facebook page. Follow all our adventures at And while you're at it, find me on Instagram too @moreskeesplease (I've been posting more pictures just in one spot rather than sharing on both so you'll get new ones there!)

I do plan on carving out some time to write a blog post here or there so I'm not going to be totally silent on here. In the meantime, I hope everyone has an awesome summer!!!!

Body After Baby 2014: Weeks 2 and 3

I'm a little behind, I know. These past 2 weeks were crazy busy - but then again, when are they not? This mom of 4 thing is no joke. Four mouths to feed, four kids laundry mounds to conquer, four schedules to coordinate...not to mention baptisms to prepare for, Derby parties to plan, play dates to plan...doesn't leave much time for blogging (or me time, or couple time, or just about anything else...) And while I have the very best intentions to keep up with this blog of mine, I'm often too pooped to do so once the kids are in bed. I usually pour myself a glass of wine and shortly after climb into bed for the night.

Anywho - 3 weeks in to my Body After Baby 2014 journey and I'm happy to say I've lost 2 pounds. In conjunction with my personal weight loss/fitness goals, I have joined a "Biggest Loser" style contest with 3 other gals (Lauren, Angie, Laura...I'm looking at you!) We have a pretty cool spreadsheet that tracks our weekly weight loss. We pay in to the pot -- $25/ea to start, then each week we pay $1 if we stay the same, $1/pound if we gained and $0 if we lost weight. After 12 weeks, the winner takes 70% of the pot, 2nd place will take 20%, 3rd 10% and 4th is, well, out of luck.

So what does this Biggest Loser contest help me accomplish? For starters, I've found that I'm really good at skimping on meals every Sunday (weigh-ins are on Monday mornings). Honestly though, having others to join you on your quest for health and fitness is a big plus. And the money up for grabs doesn't hurt either. I can think of quite a few things I'd spend $100+ on!

A few positive things I'm doing to help me achieve my goal:

- tracking literally every morsel of food that enters my mouth via MyFitness Pal (tarync23 is my screen name if you want to add me as a friend)

- tracking my food makes me more conscious of the calories I'm eating which has helped to eliminate some (not all) of my mindless snacking - I don't want to have to enter "3 M&Ms" into my app so I forego said M&Ms instead

- making a dedicated effort to work out in some way shape or form every single day - this week it has been so pretty out so I've loaded up the double stroller and walked around the neighborhood 2 miles every day

- tracking exercise using both MyFitness Pal (enter in cardio activity to adjust my calorie intake goal for the day) and Run Keeper (which tells me how far I've walked and at what pace)

A few of my weak spots:

- alcohol...I typically indulge in a glass of wine (oh okay, 2) or a skinny margarita (Austin peeps, have you tried Chef Adams organic all-natural mix? If not, get your booty up to Specs and get you some. LOVE. I brought a large supply to KY for both my sister and myself when we moved from Texas as you can't get it anywhere else.) I know these are empty calories. I know it would be an easy thing to eliminate from my diet to help me lose weight quicker. But by the end of the day I usually feel very deserving of a cocktail to unwind. As long as I keep that in mind throughout the day, then I have enough calories allocated to include this guilty pleasure in the evening.

- candy...if it's there, I want it. How bad can a mini box of Nerds or a handful of jelly beans actually be? Well, 60 and 85 unneeded calories respectively. I have to consciously tell myself as my hand floats towards the candy jar...Not. Worth. It.

- snacking...I am notorious for eating a bite of my kids chicken nuggets or finding myself going for "just a few" pita chips to satisfy a salty craving and then realizing I've eaten half the bag. As with my candy problem, I have to remind myself that the hassle of entering the small little snacky portions into my calorie app outweighs the short-lived satisfaction I'll get from my unconscious snacking.

As for pictures this go around? I've had a few people ask me why I'm not including them in my posts like I did in my previous Body After Baby series. The honest answer is...I forget to take them! Plus, our counter is much higher in the bathroom at our new house so I really don't have a great place to get a picture. I did snap a couple in my full-length mirror on the back of my closet door during the first week so I'll share them now but I can't guarantee that I'll include them every week because they don't give a very accurate view (it's a weird angle and a little distorted).

Baby After Baby 2014 posts:

Meal Planning for the Busy Mom

It isn't a secret that I really do not enjoy cooking. It's partly because I am not that great at it - I don't have the imagination or the palate of a cook. You know, someone who can open the fridge and come up with a complete meal with what they are looking at in front of them. And I am not one to taste something and immediately be able to point out that it needs a pinch of this or that to make it better. Furthermore, I hate the mess. I feel like I am constantly cleaning the kitchen. Cooking just adds to the cycle. I am the type of person who has to start with a clean kitchen before messing it up to make a meal only to clean it up once again. And just so much work!

The boys get to write messages
on the bottom portion of the
chalkboard. Ethan wrote today's
...but then Hudson added
his message :)
Lately, however, I have really been getting back into the habit of meal planning. I have found that when I am totally organized - browsing Pinterest for recipes, using weekly planning templates, writing out grocery lists and getting creative on my cutesy menu chalkboard - the whole cooking thing is a little less anxiety-inducing. I actually enjoy it more when I feel like I have it all planned out. And although my husband laughs and shakes his head at my list-making and hour-long planning process, I don't hear him complaining about the end result. I will admit though, sometimes I just don't have it in me by the time he gets home so I'll hand over the recipe and say, it's your turn tonight. Usually he happily obliges - he enjoys cooking after all.

I thought it would be helpful to share what works for me - a busy stay-at-home mom of 4 hungry boys and 1 hungry husband. With a little bit of planning, I have been able to try new recipes and feed my family healthy meals for around $500/month. It may sound like a lot, but if you break it down, that actually includes all the food for breakfast, lunch, snacks and the pre-planned dinners for 6 people for 30 days. That's roughly 540 meals in a month (3 meals a day for 6 people = 18 meals x 30 days = 540) which comes out to just over $1/meal. (Although Nolan doesn't "eat" food yet, what we spend at the grocery includes his formula so I just lumped him in the equation).

I do save money in many different ways - coupons, shopping sale items, buying in bulk when possible, making things homemade instead of buying prepackaged, etc. But that is an entirely different blog post so for now, I'll just stick to sharing my meal planning process.

Here is the method to my madness:
  1. I gather all my materials. I spent a lot of time putting together a meal-planning binder which has been extremely helpful in keeping this process organized. In it I keep several copies of my weekly meal plan template and grocery list template, our favorite go-to recipes, and already completed meal plans for using again in the future.
  2. On a blank sheet of paper I begin to sift through recipes and write down some that make the cut that week. My favorite sources are the 100 Days of Real Food website (ah-mazing site...but you'll need a lot of time to read through all she has to offer), Pinterest, the Hungry Girl cookbook, my crock-pot cookbook and the Tastebook I made for Ricky a few years ago that is personalized with family favorites we each grew up with. I usually only plan out dinners - unless there is a special occasion or I'm in a rut or something - then I will plan out breakfast and lunch as well. I try to choose a variety that includes chicken, pork, beef and meatless options. I typically go to the grocery once every 2 weeks, so most of the time I complete two weeks worth of meal plans. I choose about 10 dinner recipes, leaving a few days open for leftovers, "you choose" nights and the occasional going out to eat or ordering in.

  3. Next, I take a look at my calendar. It sounds weird but if I don't take into consideration what I have going on that week, I usually end up getting off track. For instance, I'll be sure to choose easy to make recipes on nights the boys have soccer practice. Or crock-pot meals on days that I am doing a lot of running around and won't be at home to prepare a meal at dinner time. Then I take my list of chosen recipes and assign them to a day throughout the week.

  4. Finally, I start at the beginning of the meal plan and write out any and all grocery items needed. I love this grocery list template (I found it here) because it is broken down into the sections you shop at the store. It makes it much easier to check off the items as you go when, for instance, you can go down the freezer aisle and see everything you need in once spot on your list. After I have everything written down that I need for the recipes, I add in other staples, household items, snacks, and extras we might need to stock up on.

I keep the written out meal plan in the binder on the counter to refer to as needed, but I write out the menu for the week on our kitchen chalk board. I love the little nook where it hangs and the boys love checking the "menu" each night (and complaining or cheering depending on what we are having).

So there you have it! I have fine-tuned this process over the past year, working out the kinks and doing things that are most convenient for our family. Sometimes I skip a week (or two) if I'm really busy or just don't feel like doing it. I'd love to hear some of your tips and I'm happy to answer any questions if you have them!

*** I'll be posting some of my favorite recipes in the near future.
*** If you want to download my meal-planning template, click here!

Body After Baby 2014: Week 1

Just a quick update because it's been a heck of a week. Looking at my calendar, the next month or so is jam packed with...stuff. Lots of stuff. Mostly fun stuff so I'm not complaining but man oh man this momma is tired!

A few things to sum up this past week in this 'gettin my body back' journey:

- we joined the YMCA! We opted for the community-wide membership so we can go to any of the locations throughout the area and so far I'm loving it. Someone will watch my children while I work out (or pee alone, or read a magazine, or sit in silence...)??? Yes, please! I'm using muscles I haven't used in a while which leaves me feeling all sore the next day and guess what, I love it! Plus, Ricky and I can drop the kids in the play area and work out together - which pretty much constitutes a date night for us these days, but hey, I'll take it.

- I forgot to weigh myself on Monday and again this morning. When I remembered this evening, I decided I didn't want to freak myself out by stepping on the scale at the end of the day so I don't have any weight loss (or gain) to report this week.

- I'm attempting to count calories again using My Fitness Pal but I don't always remember to do that either. Luckily, because I have done it religiously in the past, I have a very good idea of the nutritional content in most of the things I eat so I'm able to have a general idea of where I'm at even if I forget to track it.

- How's the eliminating processed junk from our house going? Well, let's just say that I am too cheap to throw out the crap that we currently have in our pantry, so once we eat it all then I won't buy any more. (I finished the last of my Warm Delights stockpile tonight...boohoo!)

As far as my goal is concerned - here is the thing. I'm really not setting out to lose a certain number of pounds. Sure, I have a "goal weight" but after 4 pregnancies, even if I hit that magic number my body will never be the same. I may never fit back into the size 6 clothes I have tucked away in a bin marked "Taryn's clothes...don't fit...yet" from before I got married. But I'm not willing to get rid of them without a fight. Basically, I want to make a lifestyle change where my eating is concerned (not diet), I want to incorporate a healthy amount of exercise (not stress over working out), and overall just take better care of myself (so I feel good, no matter what the scales says).

Body After Baby: The Final Push

Body After Baby

Haha - get it - the final push??? As in this is my last baby (last time I'll ever have to "push") and also as in this is my time to get my body more "but I don't want to put the effort in because I'm just gonna get pregnant again".

I'm so clever ;)

If you follow More Skees Please on Facebook, you might remember that a few months ago I mentioned that I plan on having a "mommy makeover". For me, that will consist of a few medically necessary procedures combined with a few "because I want to" things. Having babies really did a number on my body. Obviously it was all worth it - but that doesn't mean that I don't want and need to address some of the issues that came from carrying 4 children.

For instance, my stomach muscles? Caput. I experienced something called Diastasis Recti - or a separation of the abdominal muscles as illustrated by the image below.

Image Source:

Lovely, right?

I used to be very athletic. I was a gymnast for 8 years. I was on our local swimming and diving teams. I was a competitive cheerleader for many years and was one of those girls that could do all those flips and tucks across the football field or basketball court at halftime. Now? Not so much. And I'm not saying that I want to have my stomach muscles fixed so that I can do a back-handspring again (that ship has sailed...and I'm okay with that), but when I'm laying in bed and have to roll to my side just to get up because it is almost impossible for me to sit up like a normal person...well that is more than annoying.

Also, I developed an umbilical hernia after I had Aiden. These are very common post-pregnancy and I had it repaired shortly after having him because even though I intended on having more children, mine was so bad that if I didn't have it done, I was at an increased risk for having it become strangulated. I'll let you google "strangulated umbilical hernia" so I don't have to describe the grossness that it is here in this post. Well after another 2 babies, the hernia reoccurred so I'll have to have it fixed once again.

So there's that.

And since I'm already going to be going under the knife to address those two things, then why not go ahead and take care of the less important issues (but still confidence-busting nonetheless). Like the stretch marks. There was no amount of Vitamin E lotions, creams or miracle butter that was going to keep those suckers from making their presence known. Believe me, I tried. And lost.

I was going to have all of this done this summer which meant I'd have to drop the baby weight (and then some) pretty quickly after having Nolan. I began planning my liquid diets and excessive workout regime while I was still counting contractions and dealing with heartburn. It's safe to say I started to stress and in doing so, realized if I wanted to do it the right way, I'd have to set a more realistic time-frame.

I have decided to give myself a year to lose the weight. I will do more research to determine exactly what I want to have done and then I will choose my doctors and discuss my options without being rushed.

With all that said, it is important to me that people know that whatever elective procedures I am having done, I'm doing it for ME. Not for anyone else. Not even for my husband - who lets me know every day that he loves me exactly as I am. But for ME. Plain and simple. 

I get it, plastic surgery isn't for everyone. I know it's not a magic wand that will make me a better person or turn me into a supermodel. And choosing to have a little work done definitely does not mean that I resent having children or am ungrateful for the experience of doing so. Everyone has an opinion, this is mine. Believe me, it's not a decision I've made lightly.

So...with a goal in sight, I begin my Body After Baby journey. I know this will be a huge positive in my life and look forward to sharing my progress as I go! I weighed myself this morning and every Monday I will post an update including weight-loss (or gain) from the previous week. Wish me luck!

[Want to see my previous Body After Baby journey from 2012? Click here.]

Spring Cleaning My Life

I tend not to make New Years Resolutions. I rarely keep them and then I feel disappointed that I couldn't even get halfway through January without giving up on whatever I resolved to do that year. For me, winter is dreary and dull and all I'd much rather stay in my pjs all day than load 4 kids into the car to head to the gym.

Instead, I typically get a burst of energy and motivation as winter melts away and spring begins to bloom. Something about the crisp fresh air makes me want to get all my ducks in a row -- I want a clean house! A fit body! Organized finances! Well-behaved kids! Yes, spring is definitely my favorite time of the year. And after this particularly brutal winter, being pregnant and dealing with the chaos of a cross-country move, I am more anxious than ever to blow away the cobwebs that have settled in all the crevices of my life.

A few months back, a Facebook friend messaged me asking if I could share with her my tips for how I keep my life so organized and together. Once I finished laughing, I thought long and hard about what I share on here and wondered if I am being genuine enough. I tend to write about the fun things we do. I share adorable pictures of my happy, smiling kiddos over on Instagram. And I post about the good moments on my Facebook page.

But, my friends, I rarely feel like I have it all together. In fact, more often than not I feel like a hot mess. I'm hard on myself and a little type-a and I swear if there is a medical condition that links a cluttered, unorganized house with a cluttered, unorganized mind, I so have it. 

Do I have many many good moments on a daily basis? Absolutely. And I love to share those moments with my friends, family and readers through social media. However when it comes to dealing with the everyday annoyances, mini-meltdowns, and personal insecurities, I tend to handle those on my own, privately, rather than complain in everyone's news feed. The really tough stuff on the other hand, well, I do write my way through those things.

Anyhow, what I'm getting at is this: I am not perfect. Not even close. My life is not perfect. My kids are not perfect. I don't have all the answers and I certainly don't have it all together. I fight with my husband over taking the garbage out or unloading the dishwasher. My kids make me want to pull my hair out several times a day. On a daily basis, I find myself doubting my abilities as a mother. I am plagued with insecurities about my body. 

Over the next couple weeks, I am going to try to harness the fresh motivation brought about by the change in weather to tackle some of those things. To change my attitude. Change my actions. A little spring cleaning for my life, if you will.

I'll be bringing back my Body After Baby series. I'll share my attempt at removing processed junk from our home (again), organizing tips, meal planning, parenting successes (and failures). And I'll round up some of my favorite things: blogs, products, recipes. I'm a work in progress and I hope you will continue to read as I get back to blogging on a more regular basis once again.

Happy Spring!