Three Years of Wedded Bliss

I love being married, but I don’t think I would enjoy it if I hadn’t married someone like Nate. When it comes to our marriage, he can take credit for being patient and kind all the time. I can take credit for marrying the right guy and making some pretty awesome chocolate chip cookies on a regular basis.


Today we celebrate three years of marriage and we’re hopping on a plane to New Orleans for a few days sans toddler. Here’s a picture of the newlyweds three years ago on our honeymoon to Hilton Head Island.

I think my number one piece of advice for a happy marriage is to pay attention to each other. Whether it’s on a weekend away now and then, regular date nights, or at least making the effort to put your phone down for a few minutes while your spouse is telling you about the work day, acknowledge that person. That’s the person you married. They’re worth your time.

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband. I’m glad to be your wife.

To You, SBHS Class of 2001

We haven’t talked in a while, but I wanted to let you know I’m happy for you. It seems like we graduated five years ago, not 15. Still, I am thankful when I see you are doing well.

Last weekend I was perusing Facebook and one of you posted about “another wild Saturday night cleaning up diaper blow-outs and bathing babies.” Things certainly have changed for us now that we’re in our thirties. It is no longer acceptable to wear a bandana as a shirt, and trucker hats aren’t cool anymore. Jay-Z is pushing 50. People have calmed down about Y2K. Surge soda is no longer available.

Still, I would say life is pretty great. It makes me smile to see you enjoying the same simple pleasures in life that I am enjoying, too.


(Photo by Mist and Moonlight Photography)

If there is one really great thing social media has given us, it is the opportunity to celebrate each other. I truly enjoy seeing posts of your wedding days, career successes, and adorable children. I love seeing you happy.

To those we have lost, I think of you often. To those struggling, I pray for you.


(Photo by Alyssa Crawford Photography)

It is funny how time seems to freeze. I remember many of you at age 18, on our graduation day and in the days leading up to that. Sometimes I forget you’re in your thirties now. Sometimes I forget I am in my thirties now.

This is a shout-out to all of you. I think we’re doing alright. Keep posting the positive things and not dwelling on the negative. Keep working hard and enjoying your beautiful families and exciting careers. Keep striving to make the world a better place, even if only in your own little corner of it. Above all, feed off each other’s joy and be glad for one another. (Even when your Limp Bizkit cd is scratched beyond repair and you’ve just realized it might be time to deactivate your MySpace account.)

21st Century Toddler Problems

Poor toddlers in the year 2016! They have it so rough. I think one of the bonuses of becoming a parent is that you get to tell the sad tales of how much harder being a kid was “back in your day.” Today I’m sharing a few of the woes of today’s toddlers. How can anyone be expected to deal with these issues?


Commercials during cartoons: While watching an episode of Paw Patrol the other day, my daughter panicked when a commercial came on. “Where’s Paw Patrol!” It was then I realized she is so used to our ability to DVR cartoons and forward past the commercials that watching something in real time was the ultimate let-down. I actually remember a time in my very young years that we didn’t even have a TV remote. That’s what my brother and I were for: Flipping through the four channels we had so Dad could decide what to watch.

Proper car seats: In the 1980s we just stood on the seat next to Dad as we cruised down the road. I also know a lot of 1980s kids who slept in the rear window of the car during long road trips. The car was a free-for-all, a jungle gym, if you will. No more. Today’s toddler must ride properly strapped into a seat until they’re nearly of legal driving age. I’m all for proper child safety seats and when I start to feel bad for these strapped-in 21st Century toddlers, I just remember that they also have portable DVD players, something us 1980s kids never even dreamed of.

Constantly mugging for photos: Smart Phones mean taking photos and videos of every cute thing our toddlers do is super convenient, but it also means we can take 48 pictures until we get just the perfect one. Gone are the days where moms would have to wait until they could take film to the store to be developed only to realize they didn’t capture one decent photo of the 1980s bowl-haircutted kid blowing out birthday candles. Poor 21st Century toddlers. They’re tired of the phone-wielding parent paparazzi.

Occasions when food must be consumed with a fork and spoon: Pretty much every food comes in a pouch these days. I have banned them from my own household after a few messy incidents, but I speculate that some 21st Century toddlers are annoyed when that night’s dinner requires actual dining utensils.

Risk-free playground equipment: I remember burning the backs of my legs on scalding hot metal slides, usually with sharp metal edges and rickety ladders. The playground equipment industry has come a long way in safety and durability. But where’s the fun without the risk of tetanus or a burned bum?

Maybe in 30 years my daughter will be writing a blog post (or whatever the newer, cooler way of posting stories on social media is) about parenting. All I can say it I hope she remembers being loved and having fun because that’s really all that matters.

Now please excuse me while I go tell my daughter how I used to walk five miles to school in blizzards, up hill both ways.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies


This weekend featured rainy fall mornings made for baking cookies. My two-year-old is really into making Daddy cookies lately, so we got right to it yesterday. This peanut butter blossom recipe is an oldie-but-goodie from one of those family cookbooks most of us have in our collection.


I like to use the miniature Hershey’s Kisses. The rest of the ingredients are pretty basic.


A creamy mixture of peanut butter and shortening gets the ball rolling right. Then granulated and brown sugar are added as well as egg, a little milk, and vanilla. The flour, baking soda, and salt are then mixed in gradually.


Roll the cookies in granulated sugar before baking. My daughter loved helping with this part.

Just when the cookies come out of the oven, three mini kisses are placed on top so they melt slightly into the top of the cookie and look like a pretty little blossom. Happy fall baking, everyone!



  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • Miniature Hershey’s Kisses
  • Heat the over to 375 degrees.
  • Beat the shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.
  • Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to peanut butter mixture, beating until well blended.
  • Shape the dough into one-inch balls.
  • Roll in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately place three kisses on top of each cookie, pressing down slightly.
  • Makes about 18 cookies (but I make my cookies fairly large!)

Pretty Stuff: Plum Pretty Sugar

I have seen these gorgeous floral robes on herds of bridesmaids in the past few years, but only recently did I explore Plum Pretty Sugar. The company features robes, pajamas, and dresses in feminine floral prints.

Only then did it occur to me that even though I haven’t been a bride or bridesmaid in nearly three years, I could still enjoy a pretty robe. Especially since Plum Pretty Sugar had a pretty stellar sale going.


The robes and pajama sets are lovely.



The shirt dresses would be so cute paired with leggings and boots.


The children’s line is adorable, too.


I opted for the cami nightgown and matching robe in this print, called Willa Betwixt the Morning Light. (The names of the prints are poetic.)


The products were shipped quickly. They’re soft, comfortable, and easy to care for on the delicate cycle in the washing machine. The Flash Sale is still going on here.

Because even old married moms like me need pretty pajamas once in a while when our husband’s ripped Nine Inch Nails tees and baggy sweatpants are feeling blasé.

This post was not sponsored, I just like the products.


Things That Take Less Time Than Choosing a Nail Polish Color

I love getting an occasional manicure or pedicure, but I almost always find myself standing in front of the nail polish shelves with my stomach in knots, stewing over finding the PERFECT hue.


(Don’t worry, the car was parked when I took this.)

Why is it so difficult? At best, a manicure or pedicure is going to last a month. Furthermore, you can remove the color at any time if you decide you don’t like it. Does anyone feel my pain?

Here are things I have done that have taken less time than it takes to select a nail polish color:

  • Organized my sock drawer and thrown away the socks with the big toe spot blown out. AKA all my socks.
  • Selected and purchased kitchen appliances.
  • Delivered a baby via emergency cesarean.
  • Filed a 1040EZ tax return.
  • Pulled 62 cockleburs out of my schnauzer’s fur.
  • Taken a toddler to the bathroom on an airplane twice in one flight.





Providence, Rhode Island

Providence wasn’t really on our itinerary when my mother and I were recently in Rhode Island, but when our hotel near the beach turned out to be a flop, we diverted ourselves to downtown Providence for one lovely night.


We grabbed the very last available reservation for that night at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel in downtown Providence and ate delicious seafood at Hemenway’s. We were a little disappointed that Providence’s famous WaterFire, which normally would have taken place the night we were there, was rescheduled due to Labor Day festivities, but downtown Providence still made for a great walk. There were also several wedding parties having photographs done that evening so we had fun scoping out the gorgeous dresses. Creeping on weddings is one of my favorite things.



The Rhode Island State House was beautiful at night.


This fountain in Burnside Park was a gift to the City of Providence from Italian Diplomat Signor Paul Bajnotti. It was commissioned as a memorial to Bajnotti’s wife Carrie Mathilde Brown, who was born in Providence.


The next day we made a stop at Verde Vineyards about 20 minutes outside of Providence. I picked up a bottle of their Surveyor red wine to take home to my hubby.

Even when travel plans get disrupted a bit by a gross hotel room or impending bad weather, switching gears and changing plans can be even more fun!