Baby it’s cold outside! We’re talking Polar Vortex cold. For the past couple of days, my beautiful State of Minnesota has been grappling with negative temperatures and wind chills that, believe it or not, have measured colder than Antarctica!
Don’t get me wrong, we Minnesotans are tough. Last year, when our state hosted Superbowl LII, we actually came up with the logo “Bold North” to celebrate the fact that we aren’t afraid to get out and enjoy life when the temperatures drop. We love our winter carnival, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hockey, and of course – fishing on frozen lakes.
But the past few days have been RIDICULOUS! So much so, that most of the state has been sequestered indoors. Many of our schools have been closed for 3-4 days. Some businesses chose not to open, mail delivery was suspended, and even the state senate called it quits! Continue reading →
Last night I caught my seven-year-old son trying to sneak a nutella snack pack AND a package of fruit snacks into his room right before bed. His ingenious plan? Hiding the treats in his socks. His SOCKS! He might have actually succeeded if it hadn’t been for the distinct sound of plastic packaging crunching against his little ankles.
I have to admit that as I shook my head and confiscated the “stolen merchandise,” I had to hide a smile. I wasn’t thrilled with the sneaky behavior (there WILL be consequences) but I was slightly amused with his creativity. Continue reading →
I was in a hurry. My mind was set on one goal. Get into the store and get out! We needed paper plates and some white table cloths for an upcoming event, and that was it. I had NO time to dilly dally and look through the aisles of “junk” in our local dollar store.
But my young daughter had other plans. You see, when we walked into that discount store, she didn’t see cheap trinkets. Instead, she saw aisle upon aisle of treasure. Everything was new and exciting. Breathtaking even.
As she excitedly flitted from one chintzy item to the next, her eyes were wide with wonder. Every once in a while, she would let out a little gasp of glee at her newest discovery. Continue reading →
I woke up feeling utterly exhausted. I had barely slept. My almost 4-year old daughter was up multiple times in the night, crying out from the darkness, pleading for someone to come and rescue her. Her little body was urging her to get up to go to the bathroom, but her slumber weary mind seemed powerless to actually help her complete the task.
Experience had taught me that if I waited too long to respond, I’d be changing sheets in the dark, and doing extra loads of soil-stained laundry in the morning. So I groggily willed myself out of bed and answered her persistent calls of distress. Continue reading →
A few days ago, I was grocery shopping at Aldi with my 3-year-old daughter. The store was busy as usual. It was filled with men and women, elderly couples, and lots of young mothers with carts overflowing with groceries and little kids. As I shopped, I found myself smiling and making casual conversation with a few of the other customers in the store. (I just can’t seem to help myself… I’m an extrovert!)
When it was time to check-out, I ended up in line behind a mother with three little boys. Her youngest was seated in the cart and trying desperately to “help” his mom. Unfortunately, when things didn’t go quite how he hoped they would, he got upset. As his frustration level rose, it appeared his mom’s anxiety level did as well. Continue reading →
This past weekend my family embarked on a spontaneous excursion to Interstate State Park. It was a gorgeous, 70-degree October day in Minnesota. The sun was shining bright in the blue cloud-streaked sky. Red, orange and yellow leaves were just starting to dot the dominantly green landscape.
My husband, Chad, and I agreed that we couldn’t waste this opportunity to get out and explore with our three kids. After-all, picture perfect autumn days can be sporadic in the land of 10,000 snow-fLAKES
So we packed our little crew into our mini-van and drove the 52 miles to get to Taylor’s Falls Minnesota. Continue reading →
It’s July in Minnesota. We are not quite half-way through our summer break, and if I’m completely honest… I have been STRUGGLING! I’ve been struggling with my patience, struggling with my temper, and struggling with this whole parenting thing.
I have three kiddos and I love them to pieces. They are truly a blessing in my life. You know that saying, “children are a gift from above?” It’s true!
But let’s be real. My kids don’t always behave in a manner that conjures up warm, fuzzy, “I’m feeling so blessed right now” emotions. Continue reading →
I could hear the baby wailing from across the department store. My first reaction was to breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t one of my kids. I was enjoying a quiet shopping trip all alone, a scenario that rarely happens, especially on a Friday afternoon.
My husband had the day off and had graciously offered me a chance to sneak away so I could buy some much-needed items for myself. We both knew what a nightmare it could be to try to corral our kiddos in a dressing room while we frantically tried on clothes. I was definitely relishing in this unexpected moment of retail solitude. Continue reading →
Two weeks ago, I heard the heart-wrenching news that one of my former high school classmates had been shot and killed inside her Colorado home. Molly Nickal was just 35 years old. She left behind three beautiful children, the youngest a 3-month-old baby boy. Her husband, Gary Nickal, has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.
As I read the news articles chronicling her tragic demise, it was very clear that this beautiful woman was a victim of domestic violence. According to an article in the Mankato Free Press, Molly’s family had been afraid for her because her husband was controlling, violent, and had isolated her from the rest of the family. Molly had even told one of her sisters that she felt like a prisoner in her own home. Continue reading →
My four-year-old son was silently struggling for his life near the edge of a swimming pool filled with people, and no one knew it… including me.
It happened so quickly.
I had just taken my little guy’s life jacket off so he could run into the house and go to the bathroom.
The pool party we were attending was starting to wind down and my mind was preoccupied with our after party plans. I wanted to call my husband to confirm our dinner arrangements. Just then, my son tugged at my arm. Continue reading →