Summer Bucket Lists Gave Me The Best Memories With My Kids And Why You Should Do Them

Is there really anything better than summer? Even when you’re an adult and don’t get summers off, summer is still the best because it means no stress of school, no homework, free(ish) schedules, trips to the beach, and sun-kissed legs (because, let’s face it, these pasty white legs are starting to terrify people). It’s been our tradition as long as my kids were old enough to know what summer is to make summer bucket lists that highlight every last fabulous moment of what summer is all about so we can make sure to squeeze them all in before, next thing you know it, it’s Memorial Day Weekend and I’m tackling the one other mom who waited until the last minute to go school supply shopping for the last freaking book cover. My kids love doing these even though they’re curmodgeon-y teens now. And I love doing them, even though I’m a curmodgeon-y 30-something now. So, if our curmodgeon-y selves can love them, then so can your family.   Here’s one of the first we actually bothered to take a photo of back in 2011. Looking at this photo makes me all teary-eyed…

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Hands Up If You Have An Organized ‘Fridge. Now Put Your Hands Down And Stop Lying.

Look, I’m fine with admitting it. My refrigerator is chaos no matter what I do. I clean it out before I go food shopping and I desperately try to group like food items together in appropriate places around the refrigerator to create optimal efficiency and space. But by the end of the week, every week, it looks like a crime scene.

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These Healthy Alternatives To King Cake Will Save Mardi Gras!

Okay, Mardi Gras is in zero percent trouble. But, still. I know I’ve started off every week this year saying that I’m going to pull in the reigns on the junk food and yet somehow something magically pops up- holidays, birthdays, This Is Us devastation. So, I’ll take any healthier alternative I can get my hands on because, yes, in a perfect world, I would just munch on my kale chips and smile. But it’s Mardi Gras and I’M NOT MADE OF STONE. Go super healthy with a berry-on-the-bottom, green-on-the-top smoothie. Make a cheese and fruit plate with the traditional Mardi Gras color palette. Find out how to make this awesome-looking Mardi Gras slaw on The Runaway Spoon. Using pretzel squares, melted Hershey Kisses, and Easter-themed M&M’s in green, purple, and gold to get these nibblets. Or, using white chocolate, coat a traditionally shaped hard pretzel and cover it in sprinkles just like a proper king cake.   Once you have kids, Mardi Gras is never really what it used to be. And if you’re like me, that’s a really good thing because … well, I’m just happy I dodged all the Girls Gone Wild cameras is all I’m gonna say. These days, it’s as PG as possible and I’d have it no other way. Happy Mardi Gras <3  

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16 Awesome Podcasts For Moms

I often complain that I don’t get to read as much as I used to. But like every other mom, I have about 5.7 seconds of free time every day and reading is one of those things that lands on the “want”  side of the priority list. And on the occasional days when the moon and the stars align and I do have enough free time to crack open a book (yes, I still prefer physical books when possible), I usually fall asleep within the first chapter. I believe this is what all those internet people refer to as “the struggle.” Yes, it really is real.

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Is There A Best Or Worst Stage Of Raising Children? The Answer Is No. So Stop Telling People There Is.

Each stage of raising children is precious for its own reasons. The innocent, helpless babies who epitomize the beauty of life. The wonder of watching toddlers learn and grow. The hilarity and sweetness of pre- and grade school ages. The pride of watching teens develop into themselves and helping them find their footing in the world. And the enormous love that comes from learning to trust and let them go. There’s no career or life experience that compares to the enormity of having children. But, let’s be honest. Sometimes they’re little shits -all of them- who drive us to the absolute edge of our own sanity. And it’s okay to say it. Sometimes, we’re driven to that edge through the sheer chaos of life, not through any fault of their or our own. And it’s okay to say that, too.  None of this means that you don’t love your life, your children, or motherhood with a heart that is ten times bigger than you ever knew possible.  I thought we were all in agreement about that, but I’m reminded sometimes that we’re not.

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And Baby Makes… 5!

For those who are wondering, Jessica and her family welcomed her beautiful baby girl into the world on Monday. Mom and baby are doing well. As we wait with baited breath for Jessica to start showering us with adorable, snuggly photos, I’d like to take a moment to discuss just how unfair the discrepancies of pregnancy can be. I mean, look at this woman.

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