I love this man. (Photo courtesy of CLG Photography.)

Sweat trickled down the middle of my back, and popped up in beads on my brow. The storm door smacked shut behind me as I traveled in and out of the house, arms stuffed with the day’s gathering. Cool. Hot! Cool. Hot! Cool. Hot! I lingered a bit in the air conditioned kitchen before heading out for the next haul. Unloading groceries in a 110 degree heat wave is a tiring chore, but hubs and I were making good time.

As he heaved in two five-gallon water jugs, one in each hand, I marveled at his brute strength. It’s one of our many differences that I appreciate. Some of our other differences, though, have made the already difficult road of marriage and child-rearing a bit …

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If I ever said I couldn’t wait for my daughter to get a little bit more independent, I take it back. If I ever said  I can’t wait until she’s (insert age here) so she’s a little less emotional, I take it all back. All of the milestones I celebrated and encouraged, I wish they’d taken longer to happen. She just turned three, and yet her development has gone into double-time. I can still feel the smoothness of the top her infant head on my cheek as I rocked her so many nights ago. I can still see the hilarious faces she used to make when she yawned as a wrinkly, squawking newborn. She is wonderful. And beautiful. And she’s ours. I delight in seeing her make new discoveries. But someone, please make it stop! …

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Parenting is messy. But sometimes it’s more fun that way!

No, that’s not a typo in the headline. This is my toddler’s favorite new expression. One that she says all wrong, but I just can’t bring myself to correct. It’s the sparkle in her eyes, the delight on her face as dances around the kitchen and wiggles her limbs.

Parenting little ones, at times, is like a party. It’s fun, unpredictable, and there’s always a mess to clean up afterwards. Some appreciate your efforts, others just show up and judge. But it’s fun. Or at least the intention is to have fun, no matter how it actually plays out.

Before the guests arrive, your house is fairly quiet. You’ve spent time shopping, cleaning, fantasizing about all the fun to be had. Everything’s prepared, laid out in …

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Our budding WNBA star.

At 4 a.m., I saw my husband off to work. I made him a cup of coffee to go, and watched him drive away on a 1.5 hour commute to his job site. A job site where he would be outdoors nearly all day in 100 plus degree heat, only to take short breaks in the air conditioned job trailer before heading back out into the blistering sun. He’s a hard worker, as hard as they come. I’m sure he would have loved to outsource part of his job today…like I did.

That’s right. I took my toddler to her old daycare, and kept the baby home with me. So technically, I outsourced half of my job. Why? Because I felt it was the best thing for my family, to give her …

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Can you tell which one is Angie? Hint: She’s wearing orange. 🙂

Walking into her ranch-style home, you might not even know this woman has children. The carpets were clean and free of crumbs (unlike mine), the kitchen counters were actually visible (unlike mine) and there were no toys strewn all over the living room (unlike mine). It was relatively quiet (unless you count my little critters running around) and there was a general sense of calm (again, unless you count my little critters running around). Yes, you might think it’s a kid-free home, until you turned and saw nine perfectly-spaced 8×10 picture frames on her wall, one for each of her children. That’s right. Nine children lived in this home and not only was it clean as a whistle, but the children were well-behaved and …

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Need to make an on-the-spot major decision on household conduct? Chug one of these first.

“I think we’re going to have a grease fire. Honey. Honey?! Are we? You’re a firefighter. Can you tell me? Do we need the extinguisher?!”

“Mommy, get me a snack. I’m hungry,” my three year old whined while following me around the kitchen as I frantically flung open the windows. “I’m hungry. A snack. Snack. Can I have a snack? Please?”

“Anna, in just a second! Mommy’s trying to prevent a fire. Dave, do we need an extinguisher?!” Meanwhile, the baby is running around with an obviously poo-filled diaper. Whee!

My husband casually looked up from the laptop, where he was surfing truck listings on Craig’s List. “Oh…there’s a lot of smoke. Maybe.”

Maybe? Maybe?! That’s it! I wasn’t going to risk losing our …

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