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!!

Back to School – The Kindergarten Edition

School is beginning. For us, this momentous day is two weeks from yesterday. In thirteen short days, my precious girl will walk into her Kindergarten classroom for the first time. Gone is the safe, well known and loving bubble of preschool, followed by a brand new and darling little school full of new little faces.  Last Sunday, after Landon and I sat and made our “before summer ends” list, I sat and watched her carefully color her favorite characters. I studied her tiny hands, the methodical ordering of her toys who watched the bright colors fill the page, her sheepish grin as I kissed her precious head. I found myself wanting to wrap my arms around her and keep her small. Maybe if I keep her here longer, nestled against my chest, time won’t actually pass and the safety of our home can envelop us both. I want to ferociously protect her heart, and make sure the whole world sees her brains, her beauty and how much more she is than her bahas or a syndrome. I can’t of course… I know this. Even us semi-helicopter parents (or occasional hovercrafts) have to let go and send our children out into the world’s wild adventures.

This school year includes a world of big kids, their big ideas, big questions and possibly big stares or hugely hurtful comments. While starting the school year brings about butterflies for little ones and long school supply lists for parents, the top thing on my list is to encourage discussions or letters teaching kindness for your kiddos.  This advice feels more poignant this year. I sit here not only on the precipice of my child entering the throngs of Kindergarten, but I am also a parent who has had to watch and live through some of our first big kid, tough and hurtful situations this summer.

This summer has been punctuated by sunshine, sunscreen, swimming, snuggles, Skittles, family love and unfortunately some truly unkind comments.  As I shared in an earlier post, our first camp of the summer got off to a plain old terrible no good start. As recounted by Landon and partially by the camp, we came to understand that there was pointing and mean spirited words thrown in Landon’s face like confetti. Although she stood up to the boys and defiantly walked away, she told me days later that the same kids followed her around saying things and laughing. Laughing to her face, a cruel finger pointed in the air. So we settled into a different routine, a different camp and her brightness quickly returned upon finding new friends and free afternoon fun. Her immense pride has beamed since that awful week, as we rightly showered her with love and praise from the confidence she exuded.

We had moved on in conversation in our house, having found our new routine. Yet the subject returned just last week as our family went to the water park for the day, as is tradition to break up the haze of beach week. As our collective of parents milled about counting the cousins and making sure everyone had sunscreen, my step-daughter strayed from the brood and headed over to us. “Those boys, over there, they called Landon ugly. We all heard it.” I looked over at the girls and Landon was already rushing back for another turn on the slide. When she came out, I studied her face carefully asking if she was okay, did she want to talk about it. She looked up and smiled, shrugged and said she wanted to go on the slide again. Completely unaffected… this child just wanted to play… no time for nonsense boys. Her older cousins stunned, one into a fragile state of hurt and defensiveness, and sweet Anna and our older cousin escorted Landon the rest of the day. Meanwhile, I stalked around the pools, staring at the boys, until Eric calmly talked me off my aggressive ledge. Nothing was mentioned later, no questions and comments from her the rest of the week. While etched on my heart, those immature kids’ reactions didn’t impact her whatsoever. If only I had her superpower.

Instead, my attempted superpower is to inspire fellow parents to talk to their children. On the brink of a new school year, what would I tell those boys of summer if I had a chance to calmly talk to them? If I knew them well enough to have a chat, how would I try to coach them to be brave, to show kindness and acceptance? Where would I begin?

Hey kiddo,

With school starting soon, I want to talk to you about two really important words- kindness and bravery. You’ve probably heard that you should be kind to your family for instance or your dog. And when you think of bravery, you might think of superheroes like Superman or Batman, fire fighters and so on. However… did you know that being kind IS being brave? I think that as a kid, showing kindness to others – like other kiddos that might look or sound different than you- that is one of THE bravest things you can do.

One of the kindest things I can imagine is standing up for someone else. Whether at school or around town, you might see another child and he or she might have glasses, they might wear hearing aids, have one arm, maybe he or she is in a wheel chair… I know that might sound pretty different than you. What I bet though is that they are actually just like you. They probably love Minecraft, Transformers, Power Rangers, My Little Pony, Legos, their dog. They probably love tacos and pizza and watching movies. What is also cool is that you can ask them really simple questions just to understand things a little better. Kindness can still sound like a question, you know? For instance… what are those button-shaped things by your ears? Why are your ears smaller? Does your wheelchair get to go fast? Questions are okay, especially if you are just curious and you do it with a kind voice.

Now what if you, yourself had something pretty different about you, how would you want another kid to treat you, say at school? I bet you’d want kids to just talk to you like you’re any other kid. I bet you would want them to invite you to sit with them at lunchtime in the cafeteria, to play at recess, to just be a friend. Some children have things like hearing aids to hear better, that’s all. They can run, laugh, swing, skip, play video games with the best of them. Things like pointing, though, pointing is just not cool. Pointing, laughing, using words like ugly… those actions are just plain ugly. Those actions are not brave. They are nothing like how real superheroes act. The real superheroes in fact are more like the kiddos with differences- who have had surgeries and have awesomely bionic hearing aids that allow them to hear just about anything.

My point is in all this is that kids that might seem different aren’t different at all. If being brave and hanging out with real life superheroes sounds awesome this school year – than choose kindness and make a new friend. There is simply nothing cooler than being kind and being brave. Oh and I hope you join us at the playground some day, we’d be happy to have you.


Landon’s mom





Wonder Girl

Tonight, it happened… we had our first big girl conversation about her ears as we drove home from camp.

“Mommy, this boy, he was chasing us around and then stopped. He pointed and laughed at me. He LAUGHED at me- he didn’t like my ears!”

I inhaled a slow breath, as a dull pain rose in my throat. “How did that make you feel?”

“Sad,” as she fumbled with her My Little Pony. “I didn’t like when he laughed.”

“What did you say to him or do?” I asked in my calmest voice.

“I said… ‘Well, I LIKE my ears!!’ And I walked off to tell my counselor. We didn’t play with him anymore.”

As immense pride rushed out with the breath I’d been holding, “Wow! That’s AMAZING and exactly right. You LOVE your ears. We all do. I am so so proud of you.” My face full of light, amazed yet not surprised at all by this precious, confident five year old girl. She’s listening when we tell her that she embodies greatness, that her body, mind and heart are all beautiful. That her ears are cool and bahas amazing inventions. That she is love. She is listening to it. And now, she is living it.

I celebrated her even louder the whole way home and onto the swings in our backyard park. She giggled at Eric and happily ran around with the frisbee, not even knowing that my heart had broken open even wider as I marvel at who she is. She is truly a wonder. #landonglover #sheisawonder