Christmas 2015: The Photos That Didn’t Make the Cut

Normally, you don’t want people to laugh at your children. But, sometimes, you just put it out there because it’s too funny to keep to yourself. Like these photos from a Christmas card photo shoot a couple years ago… I was in the hospital and asked my mom to take the boys to a friend’s house where a photographer was taking Christmas photos. I felt so bad asking my mom … we can all agree taking family photos is a beast! But, I assured her there was no pressure. I just needed one picture for our Christmas…

Finding a Route to Self Care … Without the Guilt

While it’s a relatively new term, it’s not a new concept. Self care is how we describe, and sometimes joke about, the moments we have to carve out for ourselves to gain or maintain any level of calmness, self worth and sanity! It can mean completely different things for every single person. It can be vacations and spa treatments, but it can ALSO be a jog around the block and a mud mask in your own bathtub. Contrary to what some may think, it’s not something that only the wealthiest get to enjoy. There…

This is 39ish Life: Tranice

When my youngest daughter took an unanticipated break from her selfie-a-thon to hand me my phone, I knew something big must have flashed on its screen and caught her attention. It was a notification from Dana about submitting a story for her new series. Excitement and terror both gripped my chest as I thought about the opportunity/ challenge for me to step out of my shell and give others a snapshot of my experience. This is a HUGE push for me, and I am grateful to Dana for providing a platform for others to tell their stories. Here…

Four Kids, Two Adults, One Bunny, And A Hurricane

I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. Summer rain showers, warm weather into November (and sometimes December), and occasional hurricanes are all part of life here. More often than not, the hurricanes tend to be more “prepare-for-a-hurricane-and-get-a-heavy-rainstorm” kind of events. But sometimes, they’re the real thing. And everyone knew Irma was the real thing as we watched her devastate the islands and then make her way toward us. The days prior to the hurricane were nerve-wracking and incredibly stressful. We were trying to get prepared…

This is 39ish Life: Josie

I’m a native Gainesvillian and yes, I’m 39ish … (41, almost 42) Eeek. I’m married to an awesome guy (13 years now) and together we have six children! I love spending time with my family, taking trips to the beach, watching home improvement shows on HGTV (sometimes binge-watching), reading, exploring, cheering for my UF Gators, and traveling. I am a mother, stepmother, wife, sister, sister-in-law, friend, daughter, aunt, and I love my huge family! I look forward to life’s adventures every day and love living in North Central Florida…

The Truth Behind Our “Perfect Day”

I looove behind-the-scenes footage and seeing the blooper reel at the end of a movie. They give you a little insight into what the set was really like, and what the actors and actresses went through to get those perfect shots. (And they usually make you laugh harder than the movie itself.) Don’t you wish we could see the blooper reel from our friends’ Facebook photo albums? Did their 2-year-old really sit for that perfect sunset shot without getting her dress wet, losing a shoe or throwing sand at her brother? Hmm… Saturday was…

Yes, I Was A Surrogate, And No, I Never Wanted To Keep The Baby

I completely understand the surprised faces when I share that I was a surrogate. I realize it’s not as common in our everyday lives as the celebrity world makes it seem. But, some of the responses I’ve heard over the last two years have been bizarre, hilarious, rude, vapid … you name it. While the huge majority of the people I talk with are loving and curious, there are those who just don’t get it. Or at least they don’t think about the whole situation before they react to the news. Their…

My Current Obsessions: Summer 2017

I live for summer. I love the sunshine, the afternoon rain showers (and the rainbows that follow), the unscheduled downtime, the family vacations, and the glorious food that is associated with this time of year. It all makes me so stinkin happy! And the items on this season’s My Current Obsessions list made this summer even better… Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm: I have one in my car, one in my purse and one in my vanity. I’ve used them all summer because they’re an easy, quick way to pamper my lips (soo…

Turning Work Into Play!

I recently attended a 3-day conference in Orlando and decided to take the family along for a fun getaway. The boys’ Disney passes had blackout dates during the time we’d be there, so I was worried there wouldn’t be enough at the hotel to keep all my boys occupied all day. Silly girl. Jeff and the boys had a blast! I enjoyed the conference, but also wished I was in the pictures Jeff would send me each day. They were splashing in the pools (yes, plural), playing yard games, riding down water slides, playing…

Hold Onto Me, Little One

You know how sometimes a single photo can completely overwhelm you and make you stop to catch your breath? This one from our 4th of July weekend did it to me. I took this picture of my youngest son, Finley, holding onto me as we stood ankle-deep in the water and let the waves crash against our legs over and over again. He was smiling and laughing as the waves would roll in closer and closer until they finally splashed up on us and made his whole body rock back. Each time, he clenched my leg until the water…