How Was Your Day?

“How was your day, sweetie?”


“What did you think of that (insert incredible field trip experience- or wildly cool, themed day)?”


“What did you think of your joke I drew in your lunch today?”


GOOD?! OMG. CAN YOU PLEASE STOP USING THE WORD GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE?! Which comes out passive aggressively as in “Good? Really? Can we use another word?”

Is this how other people’s family dinners or carpool pick ups go? Is anyone else HATING the word “good” lately? I don’t even have teenagers yet, so is this just going to get worse as we approach 13 and 15? Will we going to graduate to mere grunts by then?

Although I can be cheeky and Pinteresty and try out questions like “what was your favorite part of the day?” Or “How did you fail today?”… a lot of the time I still get “good” as my answer even if it doesn’t make a lick of sense as a response. So, like a good little researcher, I scoured the internet this week looking for conversation starters. I believe I did something similar while in the phase of going on blind dates while I was 24. But here I am at 38 and fully aware that if one of our kids says “good” again to me I’m gonna lose it.

Maybe I’m asking too much at the end of a tiresome day for these little ones (they are 6 and 9 after all), but all I want us to have some semblance of real conversations around our table. And maybe, just maybe, these wild-haired, creative, interesting little humans I’m helping guide through life might delight us with a new word beyond “gooooood”.

One of the suggestions I read requires a little bit of homework, something that might sound tedious but could really be something my kids get into- the question jar. I remember seeing this on  Pinterest years ago and I thought I was SO clever for pinning it. That was it though, I felt accomplished just clicking “pin”. Did I do it? Nope. Alas, we’re here now and this is now one of our Spring Break projects. Hooray for art projects!


Here are some sample questions, in case you want to join us in this endeavor to get good intel from our littles…

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?
  6. What’s the word of the week?
  7. Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  8. Did anyone cry?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What is the most popular game at recess?
  11. What was the best thing that happened today?
  12. Did you help anyone today?
  13. Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
  14. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  15. What made you laugh?
  16. Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
  17. Who inspired you today?
  18. What was the peak and the pit?
  19. What was your least favorite part of the day?
  20. Was anyone in your class gone today?
  21. Did you ever feel unsafe?
  22. What is something you heard that surprised you?
  23. What is something you saw that made you think?
  24. Who did you play with today?
  25. Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
  26. What is something that challenged you?
  27. How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
  28. Did you like your lunch?
  29. Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
  30. Did anyone get in trouble today?
  31. How were you brave today?
  32. What questions did you ask at school today?
  33. Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
  34. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  35. What are you reading?
  36. What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  37. Teach me something I don’t know.
  38. If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
  39. (For older kids):  Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
  40. Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
  41. What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
  42. What kind of person were you today?
  43. What made you feel happy?
  44. What made you feel proud?
  45. What made you feel loved?
  46. Did you learn any new words today?
  47. What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
  48. If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
  49. What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
  50. If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?

My plan is also to ask them to write down their questions- whatever they might be. Landon hit me with this one the other month… “How does God stay up all day and all night… that’s impossible.” Whoa….

I’ll share our progress as we get this going! What works and is still simply “good”.  Sending y’all love and hope for beautiful and relaxing weekends.






The Journey


Last summer, I hit a wall. Not a literal one- it was more metaphysical and felt like an emotional blockage. I was unclear of whether I was causing myself to be unhappy or letting what happened in my life consume me. All I knew was that I was not in control- it felt like life was happening to me. I couldn’t control the spiral, that much I knew. I was grumpy all the time, snapping at our children. I was irritable and edgy, especially if I saw someone with a baby or wonderfully swollen with pregnancy. And I couldn’t shake it either- workouts, wine, concerts, trips… we had joyful experiences but they felt occasionally fleeting or that they couldn’t shift me back to myself.

I’d rise each day, attempt a meditation and fail… my mind immediately sensing irritability. Fat was comfortably stored on my hips and my darling acupuncturist said my qi was virtually null. I worked a lot as well, dedicated and proud of my role and what I’d accomplished, yet the joy it usually brought me was missing. HR felt harder than ever, I felt everyone’s everything and couldn’t shut off the daily swell of emotions relating to work upon returning home. I was not owning my own life.

I wasn’t owning the pain and depression that riddled my body after the losses- the miscarriages, the chemical pregnancies, my guilt for having stressed out and damaged eggs. I was going so far as to be so angry at who I was in my first marriage- a young girl wracked with resentment and anger and too afraid to stand up for myself, too afraid to say… I like myself too much for this to keep happening.. or for us both to act like this.  I thought often that if I’d stood up for myself back then, remembered who I was and where my backbone was located that possibly I’d be here in this phase of my life with some semblance of normal fertility hopes. Stress destroys eggs, they told me, and it’s not hard to recall all the story lines of stress coursing through my life’s story.

Fertility doctors left me sobbing in parking lots, and my lost hope was not just about getting pregnant but truly in feeling like myself. I’d spent years not loving myself then rebuilding that love. I felt I like was moving backwards. What an unbelievably unhealthy internal home I had created… no wonder no eggs could sustain themselves.

So I made a decision. One floated by my amazing therapist months before action. I made a startling choice to leave my job for months or who knows… and focus on healing. In order to truly look inward and explore the sadness, the situational depression… I had to walk away from trying to constantly solve other people’s struggles. I had to stop giving myself to a job that fed my workaholic tendencies. I chose to walk away from a career 16 years in the making. Terrifying stuff I tell you, yet the only choice if I wanted to actually be happy.

What’s shocking is how bad it felt to choose myself.. I was in denial that my email inbox didn’t need me more than my own body’s healing process did. I learned that the unknown would feel uncomfortable much like facing fears and pain in therapy would. I had to accept it and dive in, for myself, my family, my friends and then my career. I had to accept that this career might look very different in the future… and to find excitement instead of trepidation. For someone who likes safety, like steady paychecks and to check off boxes on lists… this felt overwhelmingly risky. But it’s what I had to do… I knew it in my gut.

The leave began the week of my birthday. It felt perfect somehow … to try to rebuild at a typical time of reflection. I would spend the next few months stripping away that which wasn’t working or helping me or I was tired of- fertility specialists, 30 vitamins a day, urgent and frequent working out. Instead I chose loads of therapy from two people and more acupuncture. The hardest yet most important part was working toward releasing pressure to get pregnant. I had to find a way to completely and utterly accept and love that our family of four might not grow and it was not just okay… it would be filled with pure joy.

It’s important to point out that this leave of absence worked for me- to treat my specific sadness. It doesn’t work for everyone and not everyone can make this choice. I felt particularly loved and lucky to have the kind of supportive husband that would tell me that I must come first. The risk of job security couldn’t be the deciding factor. We enjoyed birthdays, holidays and one of the most miraculous trips of our lives. My eye stopped twitching. Sleep became my friend and naps were regularly enjoyed. Instead of the list of things I’d do all over town, I found comfort in my home. Being quiet, reading, watching my favorite shows. Working out when I felt like it and mainly on my yoga mat. Happiness became easier to locate and I started to throw myself into cooking and art. Small joys, old joys that I’d lost. The help was helping and I was proud to continue to ask for more of it.

Coming out of the holidays I began to make plans for returning to work. I knew that boundaries were the only way I could maintain this balance… to continue to be able to feel this thing I’d found called happiness. Less hours, maybe more than one client but less hours. I was the only one who could set the terms and stick to them. I had to locate one of the hardest words for most women… “no”.

I am not saying that I’m “healed” or that nothing will bring me down again. But this past winter marks a huge leap forward for me personally. Choosing myself so I can be there for others… has made all the difference in the world.

If you are struggling now, if the balance and the pain of your fertility struggle is consuming you… I see you, I hear you. I stand with you.

Onward dear friends… toward choosing happiness and ourselves.





This week

A week of her not sleeping. Of mouth “breathing” which sounds like she’s pulling air through one of those skinny twisty straws. A week of her dad and I taking turns, at our respective homes, half sleeping next to her, texting each other through our fear. A week of propping her up, humidifiers, Afrin, homeopathic chest salve. A week of her falling asleep at school mid-day because she’s exhausted. Finally we are heading to the ENT- and our friend luckily. Tonsils or adenoids or jaw distraction or all three to be discussed today… again. I slept next to her last night for a stretch and cried the entire time. I hate that it’s just so hard for her sometimes and I can’t fix it. Her struggle is felt in every bone in my body. Okay, time to regroup…more later after Doctor Clemmons ❤️ #landonglover #sheisawonder #tcs

On Being: Life as an Empath

Life as an empath can be quite tricky. We are the healers of the world, often able to help everyone except ourselves. When heartbreak is felt, we immediately and wrongfully believe it is somehow our fault- from infidelity, rejection of a friend and of course pregnancy loss. Uniquely, as an empath, I feel what others feel. I can overhear a conversation of perfect strangers infused with painful emotion and find myself choked up. Especially when you’re already low, being in the world can just be too much.

As heartache has found itself at my doorstep on more than one occasion, I have in turn shut myself off, hiding and numbing with shopping, Downton Abbey or some other heroine’s story as long as it wasn’t my own. As long as my vulnerability isn’t required. This is a reaction I’ve employed off and on for ten years and even recently leading up to our trip last week to Peru.

I was oddly nervous to take this trip, scared to open the comforting doors of my home where I’ve been quietly healing myself during my typical work week since October. It was an adventure I craved yet I didn’t quite feel mended enough and worried my lack of planning would render us lost, sick or in a panic. I knew I had to admit this to myself and my partner as our trip began. I needed to force the words into the air and as they hung there, my vulnerability was met with kindness and acceptance both on his part and mine. From that moment, the fear dissipated and I could welcome walking foreign streets and hiking wildly steep mountains with joy and gratitude.

This trip became a pilgrimage of spirit, one where I meditated on my courage to live my life in full acceptance of being an empath and the gifts this identity grants me. In returning home from this momentous experience, I am more acutely aware of the gifts in my life, on the love I’m grateful to receive and what loss has given me instead of what it’s taken away. A partner that is dedicated, wildly romantic, and deeply kind; immeasurable love and joy from our children; wonderful relationships with my mother and family; genuine friendships and sisterhood; respect and a new kind of love for all the co-parents in our lives and most importantly love of self.

I see all of you fellow empaths and marvel at your greatness. Don’t let what feels like a burden of emotions tackle you. Your gifts are always worth celebrating and I’m always here, feeling it all with you.




Dearest Landon,

I’m so sorry this letter is late sweet girl. I have written your birthday letter to you at the close of each birthday for five years now. This year, mommy got super sick, then we had to deal with lice in our house AND evacuate because of a hurricane all in the last week. As usual, we celebrated BIG so I didn’t think you would mind if mommy was late with this funny letter I give you.

This has been a special year for you. In this last year, you have truly rooted yourself into being a sister. There is no “step” about it either, you are truly a 100% committed, adoring little sister. Your fierce love for her is beautiful, mimicking most of Anna’s unique moves and literally following her footsteps around this world. Yet you’ve started to find your own voice especially if related to toys. Speaking of finding your own voice, you really have found your own confident voice this year. I learn from you all the time sweetheart, and when you stood up for yourself to those mean boys, I was in awe. I’m always proud of you and this day was extra inspirational.

As if transfixed by sparkly rainbow magic, you have fallen deeply in love this year with all things unicorn, horse and pony… My Little Pony to be exact. You are all things rainbow, glitter, unicorn, Equestria Girls and My Little Pony. You are currently toggling between Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle as your fave but your dedication to characters each year continues to impress even me.

Your ability to crack me up never ceases to amaze me as well. You have said things like “whoa that blew my mind” and “I’m thinking on something” recently. I need to start writing them all down as you crack me up daily.  As for other new things you’re trying out… you finally acquiesced and have joined us in liking tomatoes, hummus, ice cream, chocolate, granola and more. You are daring and I love how brave you have become in all aspects of your life.

You’ve taught me how to be brave since day one. In having you six years ago, I was reborn as well. I believe I had this in me all along, but in becoming your mother I’m able to see more clearly what matters, how I want to spend my waking hours, how much of that time I want to rededicate to be with you and experience life through your eyes. You’ve taught me the healing power of love and that in showing your dad love as co-parents, we are all happier and healthier people. Loving you is the easiest thing I’ve ever done and in loving you it shapes our unique blended family. In loving you, I found out what happiness truly is. You are love.

As always, I carry your heart… I carry it in my heart.



Healthful Chocolate Oat Bars

With our first day of Kindergarten for Landon (!!!) around the corner and Anna’s first day today, I wanted to make something easy that has energy for their little bodies, but was free of all the junk in granola bars in stores. Also, Landon’s school is peanut free. These puppies are flourless, gluten free, peanut free (as long as you don’t add the nut ingredients in the optional section of course) and vegan! Landon ate hers in record time, so kid tested today and thumbs up.


• 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

• ¼ cup blonde coconut sugar

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• ½ teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

• 1 flax egg- directions below

• 1 Tbsp (7 g) flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed)

• 2 1/2 Tbsp (37 ml) water

• 1 tbsp coconut oil

• 1 large mashed banana. Done this with 2 bananas also and they are just as good

• 1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

• Optional: ¼ cup creamy almond butter; coconut flakes; sprinkles; chopped walnuts


Flax Egg:

1. Add flaxseed meal and water to a dish and stir. Let rest for 5 minutes to thicken. Add to recipes in place of 1 egg.

2. It’s not an exact 1:1 substitution in every recipe because it doesn’t bind and stiffen during baking quite like an egg does. But I’ve found it to work incredibly well in pancakes, brownies, muffins and many other recipes.

Healthful Chocolate Oat Bars:

1. Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add in chocolate chips and coconut.

2. Add in the vanilla extract, almond milk and flax egg. Mix the ingredients together.

3. Then add in the mashed banana, and if using almond butter add it here. Combine all the ingredients.

4. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees and check at 20 minutes. When I add more ingredients, it can take up to 25 minutes.

5. Let cool for 15 minutes, cut and enjoy!!