Our Friendship After The Surrogacy

I’m asked quite often if I still keep in touch with the biological parents now that my surrogacy role is over. I’m happy to say we do keep in touch and it’s a beautiful friendship! We knew right away we were the perfect match. The conversations were easy and comfortable, and each step of the process was done together and with absolute happiness exuding from each of us. I loved that Jeff and I both felt an immediate connection with both of the bio parents. It was exactly how I’d imagined. As…

You Are The Best Thing…

“We’ve come a long way And, baby You know I hope and I pray That you believe me When I say this love will never fade away” ~Ray LaMontagne “You Are The Best Thing”   It’s hard for me to even imagine what my life would look like without Jeff. He is absolutely THE perfect match for me. Our personalities, our outlooks, our viewpoints, our dispositions, our goals … all mesh so well. I’m not really sure how we got so lucky, and yet at the same time, so many…

This is 39ish Life: Stephanie

‎I find it difficult to write about myself without worrying it sounds arrogant. I’ve made different choices than most but, to be clear, I don’t think my choices are better. Just better for me. I had my two girls very young. I’m sure at that time most people thought my life was pretty much spelled out for me, and it was for a long time. I became a nurse and worked to pay for the “normal” life with my significant other. I always knew something was just missing. That kind of life didn’t make sense to…

You’re Not Forgotten, You’re Just The Easy One

I’m pretty confident there’s one in every family. The “easy one.” The one who almost always follows the rules, does what is asked of him (usually the first time!), and doesn’t demand your attention at every waking moment of the day. While our house is in a constant state of activity and noise and movement, Miles is the calm in this crazy family storm. He helps when we ask him to, he does his homework without our nagging, and he is generally the one not in trouble. 🙂 Sometimes at night, I catch…

Music is My Happy Escape

Isn’t it crazy how a song can come on the radio and your mind is instantly whisked away to a specific time or place or person? It’s as if these moments in your life (both the major and mundane) are somehow connected to a song or album, and can give you a fleeting return ticket to your earlier life when hearing them again. Music has always had that power with me. When I hear “Carolina in my Mind” I’m transported back to summer camping trips to North Carolina with my daddy. &#8220…

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 Caribbean 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…

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…