5 Reasons AncestryDNA Kits Make Great Gifts!

  This product was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My Ancestry DNA journey has been amazing!  What a great experience! First, I ordered my Ancestry DNA test (you can read about how easy that is, here). A few weeks later, was so excited to receive my results (read about that here). […]

Our Peanut Challenge Experience

  My daughter had her first reaction to peanuts when she was 20 months. (You can read the whole story here).  I had eaten peanut butter off a spoon, and she picked up the spoon and touched it to her lips, and her lips swelled immediately.  Once her reaction was managed (spending a night in […]

My DNA Test Results from Ancestry DNA

This product was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Last month, I received a kit from Ancestry.com to be able to test my DNA.  I couldn’t wait to unlock the ability to find out my genetic ethnicity!  (Read my first post here). AncestryDNA is a new DNA testing service that utilizes some […]

Bacterial Meningitis: Our Story

  Bacterial meningitis isn’t really something I thought about when my kids got sick.  And most people aren’t very familiar with it.  But we went through a life-changing event when my daughter was 5. My daughter had started Kindergarten that fall.  She was happy and healthy – she always had been.  But in February, she […]

Tips on Trying Your First Menstrual Cup

For years I struggled with menstrual products, and then I discovered menstrual cups.  But even after buying one, it sat in a drawer for years because I was too scared to use it.  Looking back, my only regret is that I didn’t try it much sooner!  Menstrual cups are a little bit of a learning experience, […]

Our Peanut Allergy Story

When my daughter was about 20 months old, we learned that she had a peanut allergy.  With both of my kids, we were careful about exposing them to peanut products, and we were fortunate the way everything happened. It was almost bedtime and we were sitting at the table.  Earlier I had a spoonful of […]

Being a Child and Living with Loss

There is so much in this journey that is hard to comprehend for me; imagine being a child. Imagine one day your sibling, parent, friend or close family member is gone and you don’t understand.  Imagine this new world of missing, and all that comes along with it.  The  emotional and grieving adults around you […]

Caregiving and Planning for the Future with Genworth

  Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial.  All opinions are my own. As we approach the holidays, I  have been thinking about all the things that I am thankful for.  I am blessed with a healthy, happy family.  But things were not always easy.  I lost the most important person in my […]

Epidermolysis Bullosa (“EB”) and National EB Awareness Week

I have the worst disease you never heard of. In 1976 I was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).  EB is a very rare genetic connective tissue disorder which affects 1 in every 20,000 births each year.  Children born with this disease are termed “Butterfly Children” because the skin is so fragile it blisters and tears […]

Baby Flat Head Syndrome

  What you should know about Baby Flat Head Syndrome The Back to Sleep campaign began in the 1990s, and it has been very successful in reducing the number of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Unfortunately there has been an unintended consequence of babies now sleeping primarily on their backs.  In recent years, […]

Where Did My Life Go? Living After a Loss

  Where did my life go?  This is a common wonder I have.  Where did the ‘marry my college sweetheart, get a house, get a dog and have lovely set of three girls’ go?  It obviously went somewhere.  Maybe it was always not the way it was anyway… or maybe it is broken right now.  […]

September ~ Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

The things I know now… Once we know something we are forever changed… forever aware.  Once we know something we must share it, change it, fix it, prevent it, encourage it… whatever that situation needs… but we must not sit and pretend we don’t know it. I remember when my girls were young and Madeline’s […]

How to Help When a Family Has a Loss

  When  a child dies… A day will come when most of us will be faced with knowing, maybe being very close to, a family who loses a child.  Odds are, you will not know what to do, what will help, how to show that you care… how to make moving through life easier for […]

“Living” Without: Loss of a Child

  One never starts this adventure of being a mom thinking that their story will change like mine has.  To think that my daughter Madeline would die before she lost her first tooth, read a chapter book or graduated from Kindergarten… never. My daughter Madeline, Maddie to many, was an amazing, kind and vibrant 5 […]

Lost? The Verizon VZ Navigator app can find you!

Not too long ago, I decided to surprise my husband with a trip to California. For his birthday he opened a card, complete with a tentative itinerary and plane tickets. We spent the next month finalizing plans together. Growing up in Southern CA, there were so many things I wanted to show him. He also […]

The Perfect Game To Entertain Your Holiday Guests

Before we know it, Christmas Break will be here and our homes will be filled with holiday guests and visitors. We love having people stay at our house over the holidays, but sometimes it is hard to know how to entertain everyone. No one really wants to spend a lot of money and with small […]

I Am Thankful for My 11 Favorite Things…That Make Life Easier

There isn’t anything fancy about the things that make my life easier. They are simple and might even seem silly. But with 4 children and all that goes with being a wife and mother and running a family, anything that makes life easier, is VERY IMPORTANT to me and I am very thankful for it. […]

Beautiful Hands

There are days I look at my tired thirty-something hands – all veiny, tanned and starting to look all weathered – and scoff.  I wish they could stay smooth and ageless forever. Then I look at my grandmother’s hands worn with age spots, veins and deep wrinkles.  I wonder if my hands will ever look […]

Kind, Respectful, Supportive and Choices

Right now as I type, a dear friend of mine is at the hospital going into labor. I can’t get her off my mind. She was scheduled to be there at 7:30 pm. This is her first baby. A little girl. It has been a tough pregnancy. The baby will have some severe developmental problems. […]

Family Reunion Coming Up? Write Your Family History Book!

I am very fortunate to have 3 of my grandparents still living, but I didn’t get the chance to really get to know them as I was growing up. Since my Dad’s Mom passed away in April, I’ve been upset with myself for not spending more time with her, asking questions and listening to stories. […]

My Do-Over Moment

How many times do we say, “If I could only do that over….” Or … “In hindsight it’s 20/20 vision!” If only I could have invested in that “red fruit” company! How would you change that moment? My life has taken many dramatic turns over the course of 34 years.  I’ve moved nearly 30 times […]

When Kids Tell Lies

It is really normal for kids to tell a fib or two. They lie for lots of different reasons. Maybe they are worried about getting in trouble, or they are looking to get attention. It could be that they are trying to get out of a responsibility or chore, or trying to protect themselves or a friend. Lying […]

Dealing with the Increasingly Popular Peanut Allergy

With my first daughter, we never dealt with food allergies.  I was very careful about introducing foods that could be possible allergens within her first 2 years, from peanut butter to chocolate to strawberries.  I even made special pesto for her that did not contain pine nuts!  At the same time, she was a great eater, and we […]

I Know I’m Grown Up, But I Still Need My Mom!

Although I’m not a Mom, I have an amazing Mom (this first sentence will make her instantly cry, sorry Mom)!  I’d like to share my perspective as both a young professional and young adult living away from home throughout college and my young professional career and how I’ve continued to have an amazing relationship with […]

Babies, Babies, Babies! (Looking Back at 2011)

 This year we were thankful for the babies born in 2011.  Just look at all these adorable faces!          A BIG congrats to 8 of our ANOM writers, (in order) Heather, Keleigh, Melanie, Sarah, Lindsey, Melissa, Valerie and Maria, in the birth of their beautiful babies this year!  (You can read a few of their […]

Career or Kids? Why I chose my kids over “my” life

I think I lost a friend.  I don’t know how, but I’m pretty sure she’s not my friend anymore.  And, I think she’s not my friend because I have made the decision to put my kids above my career. We all make decisions in life, some big and some small, and we make them everyday.  […]

Oncologist’s Office-Perspective on Motherhood

Our family had an experience a few months ago that changed us. Enough time has passed that I can share. In November, at a doctor’s appointment I had my blood taken. The quick results came back with a problem. Anemia. Anemia is a lack of iron. Iron helps your body take in oxygen. You need […]

My So-Called Teenage Years

High School.  Do you remember those days?  Unfortunately, I was reminded of “those days” a couple of weekends ago when watching a movie.  Not that I have any great insight to offer or that it really matters in the grand scheme of things, but just for fun, I thought I would briefly talk about my […]

What About Me?

Every New Years’  Eve, I ask friends for resolution suggestions.  This is (a) because I never know what to resolve and (b) I feel like it tells me a little bit about what my friends think of me, and who doesn’t like that? New Years’ Eve 2009, when my youngest child was a month old, […]

My Role as a Human Pacifier

I know some of you will be able to relate or even sympathize with this scenario, and then again some of you won’t agree with my thoughts on the subject.  Either way, I’m ok with it.  I don’t need sympathy nor assurance, and I know that mothering a child is a very personal thing – […]