simple pleasure: best. commercial. ever.

Earlier this week, my brother Mike sent me the link to this video with three simple words in the subject line: Best. Commercial. Ever.


Anyway, happy holiday season, friends. Please enjoy this little gift from me to you, complete with Rashida Jones and Jason Lewis cameos (who knew?!). And just when I thought old-school Gap commercials couldn't get any better...


a little love note on your 372nd day.

Dear Audrey,

One week ago today you turned one. And while I know that I've done a downright crummy job of keeping up with your major milestones on this blog, please don't think for one second that your birthday — your golden birthday, mind you — wasn't treated as such. Simple and sweet, just like you, it was a great (albeit emotional and borderline traumatic for yours truly) day.

At the risk of sounding like a complete nut case (hey, if the shoe fits, right?!), it's almost like you knew, from the moment that you woke up, that the day was all yours — a feeling that must have felt a bit foreign to you, my sweet and accommodating little girl. It's no secret that our world still tends to revolve around your older brother, with his talking ... and activities ... and not-so-subtle "requests" that he likes to throw at us throughout the day. Seriously, these days he makes Will Farrell in Wedding Crashers look like the picture of consideration and patience. Sure, "Ma! The meat loaf! We want it NOW!" sounds a bit more like, "Mom! Chocolate milk! Mom! Toast! Mom! Mom! Moooooooom!," but, yeah, it's pretty much the same. Kind of annoying. Kind of funny. (But mostly annoying.)

Anyway, the day was filled with Caillou, warm baths and ridiculously delicious cupcakes — a bit more low-key than your brother's first birthday party, but fitting for my laid-back girl. And as we all gathered around to sing "Happy Birthday to You," I couldn't help but look at you, all decked out in your birthday tutu and questionable purple velcro sneakers that you love so much, and feel my heart rise into my throat as it has a hundred times since the day you were born. I've said it once and I'll say it again (and again .. and again), you, Audie B., are the sweetest thing in the entire world. Like heaven in human form.

And on your big birthday, it felt like I was the one celebrating. Soaking it all in. Feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. Complete with the very best bald-headed, blue-eyed gift I could have ever asked for.

So, here's to you, birthday girl. I love you, my littlest.


ps. A little video evidence of that oh-so-fashionable birthday outfit. Eat your heart out, Suri Cruise. (Oh, and my apologies for my singing. I'm a mom. I'm embarrassing.)


love & happiness.

Yesterday Anson and I celebrated our anniversary. Six years, friends.


To commemorate the day, we spent a little time at Oatlands Plantation, the place where we got married on that rainy September afternoon in 2006. And as we ran through the grass and picked the pretty flowers (sorry, Historical Society), I couldn't help but notice how different everything looks now, six years later. In fact, the view, as you can see from the photo above, is so much more beautiful than I ever dreamed it could be.

So Anson, here's to us and all that we've created together. It's not always easy and let's face it — sometimes it's downright crazy. But it's always filled with love ... and happiness ... and teeny tiny humans. And that's something to be really proud of.

I love you.


just keep swimming.

The last few weeks have been busy. I've gone back to work part time, which has been really great in so many ways. Writing on a regular basis, adult conversations, even just brushing my teeth and getting dressed in the morning — it all sounds pretty simple but, as you know, it's the simple things that matter the most. The things that really make us happy.

But along with this welcome change in routine has come, well, just that: a serious change in routine. I used to spend every moment of my days watching Bob the Builder, switching countless loads of laundry, wrangling tiny humans before they could launch themselves down a of flight stairs, making chocolate milk, finding any excuse not to clean my bathroom shower and — you guessed it — playing with FAST CARS! FAST TRUCKS!

Seriously, this was stimulating stuff, people.

But now, a lot of that time that I used to spend flexing my Domestic Goddess skills has gone by the wayside. I'm sorry to say that my living room floor is currently littered with puzzle pieces ... and shoes ... and bottles that may or may not have been there since yesterday afternoon. The same load of laundry has been in the dryer since last Friday. And — shock of all shocks — my shower is getting grosser by the minute. (I would say "don't judge," but judge away, people. It's gross. I've officially crossed over into the world of living like a 19-year-old boy, including the beer belly, but minus the actual beer.)


Anyway ... it's not even the undeniable filth that's really bothering me. Who am I kidding, really? For those of you who have ever lived with me (hey, Mom!), you know that I'm not exactly the picture of perfection and cleanliness. No — instead what's really bothering me is the lack of kid time. Of baby goodness time. Because now, those hours that I used to spend reading with Sam, cuddling with Audie, going for walks and being right there physically and mentally ... well, they feel like they're few and far between. Lots of at-home time is now spent checking emails, interviewing people over the phone and slamming my head into the kitchen table while I try to think of something intelligent to write while I'm covered in syrup and jelly and have a bald baby girl gnawing on the back of my leg.

So, it's different. And it's kind of hard. And it's easy to feel like you're getting it all wrong and your kids are never going to recover or forgive you for those hours that you put them in front of the TV to watch Finding Nemo for the 137th time so you could try to get it all done. And then your husband gets home and you kind of unload on him in a big hot mess of "I'm the worst mother ever. It's official that I'm scarring our children for life. Tomorrow, when I'm at the office, please promise that you'll take the kids to do something great. Something amazing. I completely understand that they're not old enough to remember any of this and I know I'm currently living up to my reputation of straight-up crazy person. But humor me. Please. Oh — and whatever you do, send me pictures."

And then, sure enough, it's the next day. And things already seem better because, let's be honest, things always seem better the next day. But then you get a picture like the one above — a picture of Sam playing with his brand new tee ball set that Anson bought for him that morning. And you remember that, just like you, it's all about the simple things with your kids. And they're okay. And happy. Oh, and kind of awesome at tee ball.

And even though you're still figuring it all out, everything's going to be okay.

Just keep going.

Just keep working at it.

Just keep swimming.

(Thanks, Dori.)


a little love note on your 294th day.

Dear Audrey,

At nearly ten months old, you've finally experienced the amazing awesomeness that is Costco.

(Pause a moment to take in that milestone, baby girl. Trust me when I say this is life-changing stuff here.)

Although you've already visited on many occasions, it's hard to grasp just how incredible it is from the back of the cart, strapped into your infant car seat, trying to not go blind from the retina-burning fluorescents that line the ceiling of this Warehouse of Wonder. 

But on Monday, for the very first time, you sat in the front of the cart and cruised those aisles while your 294-day-old brain worked overtime to take in the mass amounts of, well, everything you could ever imagine wanting or needing. Diamond rings, feta cheese, cameras, down comforters, coconut water, mayonnaise, churros — stacks upon stacks of Fifty Shades of Gray

If we didn't already know, we could see in your big blue eyes that Costco, although kind of incredible, is also downright ridiculous. But while it all might seem a little overwhelming now, believe me when I say that this place is going to bring you lots of happiness over the years. Free samples, pretzel rolls, one-dollar hot dogs, 12-pound crates of navel oranges — you have so much to look forward to, Audie B. 

Get excited, big girl. 



on keeping it together.

[First things first: Oh hey, friends. After yet another blogging hiatus, the crazy lady is back at it again. At least for now. Oh, and another thing: This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post. What can I say? It's just ridiculously cute.]

If there's one thing I've learned from being a parent, it's that you're always learning something from being a parent. The lessons, it seems, are completely relentless, coming at you fast and furious whether you're ready or not. Honestly, it's challenging to keep track of all the little tricks, triggers and quirks that are revealed to you by your children on a daily basis — and that's on a good day. On a particularly tough or trying day, it can be downright impossible to recognize these moments as they're happening, keep a level head and take note of how to handle the same issue in the future. (And trust: that same issue will come up over ... and over ... and over again in the future.)

But then there are the lessons that, no matter how hectic ... or overwhelming ... or just plain hard of a day you're having, just can't seem to slip by unnoticed. The lessons that bore down into your brain whether you're ready to wrap your head around them at that moment or not. Which brings me to this:

Last Sunday, friends, I lost my engagement ring.

(Big, heart-breaking, guilt-ridden gulp.)

Now I know this isn't exactly shocking news coming from a self-proclaimed scatter-brained crazy person who lives with a red headed human tornado and his newly mobile partner in crime. But, despite the "F#%*! I just knew this was going to happen!" circumstances that surrounded this unfortunate event, it was still devastating. Disappointing. Nauseating. Completely all-consuming. And, after a full day of ignoring those feelings and searching through the toys ... and the rugs ... and the trash ... and the diapers (yes, diapers) like a mad woman, the disappointment of it all just kind of came rushing over me. And I cried. Like, collapse-on-the-couch, pull-your-shirt-over-your-face, feel-completely-sorry-for-yourself ugly cried.

But then, in the middle of my colossal meltdown, I snapped out of it for just long enough to catch a glimpse of Sam out of the corner of my eye. There he was, tucked behind one of our end tables, peering out at me with alligator tears in his big blue eyes. And at that moment, I realized something kind of major: When you're two years old (or thirty years old, in my case), seeing your mom cry makes you cry, too. And no one wants that.

And there was that lesson, like a big smack on the head: When it comes to your kids, keep calm and carry on, Sara. Just keep calm and carry on.

Earth-shattering news? Not exactly. And I'm sure there are some people out there that would say that it's psychologically healthy to expose your children to different emotions — happy, hard or anywhere in between. But not me. Not my babies. No way. No how.

And you know what? After I picked my hot mess of a self up off the sofa, put a smile back on my face, scooped Sam up on to my lap and silently vowed to just relax and stop worrying about it for a while (or at least trying to not worry about it), wouldn't you know that blasted ring showed up at midnight, right smack in the middle the shag rug in my living room? Upon finding it, sure, I shared a few Tiger Woods-style fists pumps with my husband. And I kind of collapsed on the floor in sheer relief. And yes, I may have shed a few tears. But then I got on with it. 

Kept calm. 

Carried on. 

Yet another lesson learned.


simple pleasure: guilty pleasures

Whether you love her or love to hate her, it's hard not to notice Little Miss Sourpuss Stink-Eye McGee, the one and only, Suri Cruise. And now, thanks to the amazeballs blog Suri's Burn Book, you can read each and every thought that runs through that pretty little pissed off head of hers. Really, who knew Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Willow Smith and all of those poor little fashion-challenged Afflecks were so burn-worthy?!?

Seriously, read it, friends. I challenge you to not read every single post in one sitting.

Ready. Set. Go.