Eight is Great!

Wasn’t is just yesterday that we were worried about the seating chart and the intro songs?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that we traveled to Athens, Ohio to get married?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that we met at the end of the aisle, said I Do and sealed it with a kiss?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that we started our life together as husband and wife and waited for our Someday to begin?

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A rocking party if I say so myself!

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Wasn’t it just yesterday that we honeymooned in Aruba?

And then it did…

Our Someday began and it’s been good and it’s been fun.  It’s been challenging and it’s been emotional and it’s been memorable.  It’s been a Sold sign, a Masters thesis, a flooded basement.  It’s been a few trips to the Caribbean, and a few trips to the ER.  It’s been a lot of neighbor parties, and a lot of paint colors.

It’s been an I’m Pregnant!   It’s been a broken heart.  It’s been another I’m Pregnant, and a lot of pink to follow.

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Party of three!

It’s been baby showers and dirty diapers. First cries, first smiles and first steps.  It’s been breast pumps and postpartum emotions.  It’s been so fun that we did it again.  A little boy, and a little baseball mitt…

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Late nights, lots of coffee.  It’s been ear aches, blowouts, diaper rash, two screaming babies and too little sleep.  It’s been juggling careers, and friends and bills.  It’s been hard at times, so damn hard.  And then just when meltdown seemed imminent, it’s been soft & sweet & real.  It’s been cuddly naps with cuddly newborns.  It’s been dance parties and baby hugs and family trips to the zoo.  It’s been a glance in the midst of chaos.  It’s been an occasional date night.  It’s been Disney and the Polar Express and Lake George. It’s been all I thought it would be and more.

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It’s been tough, but more important than that it’s been pretty awesome.  It’s been us, and our two little sidekicks.  It’s been us, growing older and growing wiser.  And it’s been a walk through life that has long surpassed that walk down the aisle.

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It’s been eight years and it’s been a pretty great start to our Someday.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the ride entails.

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Happy Anniversary Denny!  There’s none else I’d rather hang out with during this crazy ride called marriage.

xoxo

Tonight I looked down…

I can’t exactly say that the past four months and 7 days have been easy.  Raising two kids is tough.  It’s a crazy, wonderful thing that we have two healthy kids.  And they are an awesome blessing, but it doesn’t make it easy.  Every single day is hard.  And honestly, I’m just not good at it yet.  I’m navigating through the foggy land of lingering hormones and uncertain expectations and working mom demands and mom of two status, and in trying to be a lot of things to a lot of people I often feel like I’m failing at all of them.

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But tonight I looked down.  Rather then thinking ahead about packing the diaper bag, or thinking back to how I should have handled a situation at work, I simply looked down.  And I was surprised at the beautiful view…

I looked down when I was on a walk with Makenzie and I saw so much.  I saw a sweet daughter’s messy, end-of-day-hair blowing in the breeze.   I saw her pink wagon filled with treasures of golf balls and dirt.  I saw a spunky toddler quickly growing into a little girl trying to navigate her way through the neighborhood and life.  And I saw five little fingers wrapped around mine because the sound of the train whistle frightened her just enough that she needed to feel an extra sense of security.  I saw pure happiness.

 

Later on tonight I looked down again…

Once again I was taken aback by the view.  I saw the soft skin of a four-month-old fresh out of the bath.  I saw perfect little eyelids covering the bright blue eyes of my son.  I saw the subtle breathing movements of a tired boy.  I saw a snugly baby finding a nightly sense of security in a fleecy swaddle.  I saw what will likely be my final baby drifting off to sleep.  I saw love in its purest form resting comfortably in my arms.

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Today was a good day.  One of the best.  I finally opened up my eyes enough to see the beautiful view I have on this part of the journey.  I know there will come a point when the scenery will change and I’m definitely not ready for that.  I guess I better hold on tight and keep my eyes open.

 

Much love,

The truth behind Mother Nature’s cold front

::  Buffalo, NY  ::

Many of you are cringing right now thinking about the snow and blustery weather.  I did the same thing about 9 years ago.  That was before I moved here.   I picked up and moved to the 716 area code because of a boy I loved.  And fortunately that move turned out to be a good thing because that boy I love is now my husband I love.  But enough of the mushy stuff, let me tell you about my city.

During our eight years here in Buffalo, we’ve come to call this town home. Buffalo, NY is a big city with an even bigger heart.  Buffalo is a place where you celebrate when the skyline has a new crane (or five) because it means new opportunities and new jobs.  Buffalo is a place where the owner of your favorite pizza not only knows your favorite toppings but also knows your daughter’s name.  Buffalo is a place where you can rely on your neighbors as if they’re family.  Buffalo is a place that is nice to call home.

Buffalo is also a place that gets some occasional snow and blustery weather.  Okay, by occasional snow I mean a LOT of snow.  In fact, this week we’ve made headlines because of the 84″ inches that fell in the suburbs of the city.  One of the suburbs hit hardest is the place that we call home… cute little Lancaster, NY.

 

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Lots of the white stuff!

 

Downtown Lancaster

Lancaster, NY, a good place to call home.

Thank you to all of our friends and family for your texts and messages but we’re doing okay.  In fact we’re doing better than okay.

There’s no doubt that this storm has caused some very serious situations, but overall, this cold has made life quite warm and cozy.  Here is how this natural disaster has affected our little family…  We’ve had some unexpected weekdays of not setting our alarms.  We’ve had lots of games of hide n seek.  We’ve had story time, nap time and bed time together.  We’ve had fun times with our neighbors.  Sure, we’ve been trying to balance two careers from the confines of our house, and yes, we’ll probably have some long workdays to compensate for this BUT it’s hard to be upset with an unexpected little chance to just slow down and be with your family.

In this stressful world we live in, a four-day staycation rarely happens.  Aside from some shoveling of snow, some juggling of schedules and some thawing of food from our freezer, we’ve been very grateful to make some memories that could have otherwise been lost in the shuffle.

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Some snow day crafting

Perhaps Mother Nature isn’t really as cruel as she seems.   She’s a mom after all, and it turns out that Moms are pretty smart ladies.  And after this week I’m fairly certain that behind Mother Nature’s cold front is a warm heart.

And just like that…

And just like that my one-year old baby girl went to bed and will wake up a two-year old!

Somehow it’s been two whole years since we were anxiously waiting in the hospital to meet our daughter.  I was happily sedated thanks to an epidural and Nubain and Denny was being a rock star husband and dad and making sure that I stayed happily sedated (the happy wife, happy life theory even holds true in the delivery room).  It’s been two of the most wonderful, most challenging and most fun years of our lives.

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Waiting for our girl

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On October 4 at 3:44 am, we welcomed with love Makenzie Ruth. She was 8 lbs and 3 oz. Just perfect!

First smiles and first giggles, first proud moments crawling forward and taking steps, first exciting trips to Rolly Pollies and first fear-filled trips to Urgent Care.  First words, first songs and first I Love Yous.

And the coolest part is that I’m pretty sure this is just the beginning.  I don’t want to take anything for granted but I have an inkling that it keeps getting better and that the love and admiration for your kids only grows with each new candle on their cake.

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Tomorrow is a BIG Day in the McGee House.  Makenzie Ruth will wake up as a two year old.  She’ll take her first tap lesson.  She’ll take a nap and then celebrate being two with some of our best friends and family.  Between time for cupcakes and balloons, she’ll find out if her new sibling will be a boy or a girl.  Whoa!  Get the already-hormonal mom tissues loaded up for this day.

It’s beyond exciting to think that we’ll soon have two little bursts of energy running around the house.  Two little sets up arms to hug each morning, two little giggles to keep the house noisy, and two little snuggles buddies to read to at bedtime.

Whether the envelope tomorrow reveals pink or blue, we will be thrilled.  Pink means that Makenzie will get the amazing gift of a sister and Denny will get two very special walks down the aisle.  Blue means that our lives will be full of mud pies and sports, and Denny will get to pass on his signature slurveball secrets to a son.  Either one is awesome!

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In just a few hours (about 18 to be exact), we will get one more hint into what our future holds.  We’ll find out a little bit more about this snuggly little baby who will soon be joining our family.  Somehow these little moments of life happen and create a really cool journey.  Not always expected and not always easy, but always worthwhile.

And just like that  my heart is overflowing with love yet again, and we’re reminded how incredibly lucky we are to have our sweet Makenzie Ruth and her new little sidekick.

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McGee, party of four, your future awaits…

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Stay tuned, it’s going to be a fun 24 hours!

xoxo,

Erin

Summer Hours at the Blog

The temperature is rising which can only mean one thing…

Summer hours at the blog!!

(Woot, insert noisemaker sound here!)

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Summer hours means that we’re focusing on having fun, we’re wearing flip flips and we’re sipping cool lemonade.  (And by “we” I mean “I” but whatever.  A girl can pretend that her blog is so famous that she needs a whole team, right?)

And summer hours means a more relaxed blog schedule.

Remember when I thought I could handle Thirsty Thursdays on the blog?  Remember when I thought I could handle another deadline in my life?  I thought wrong.  Way wrong.  So I’m going back to posting when I can.  Hopefully I’ll be able to post once a week , but if not, it’s because I’m enjoying summer.  Thanks for understanding.  And if you miss the fun, follow Mommy McBlog on Instagram and Facebook.

It’s going to be a great summer… grab the snacks, sunscreen, car seats, water wings, sippy cups, extra onesies, bibs, swim diapers, sand toys and wine (if there’s any room for it in the overloaded car).

I’m glad you’re along for the ride!

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The Dirty Little Secrets of a Mommy McBlogger

Greetings from Mommy McBlog world!

Now that we’re all done shaking our shamrocks for the year, I wanted to share about a little flashback I had this week.
It all started with a minor mouth surgery on Thursday – overall it was uncomfortable, slightly painful and something I hope to never repeat.   But I had one nasty side effect even the Dr didn’t see coming, and that side effect was a flashback to Junior High.  Yikes!

Join me as we go back 20ish years…  O.J. was getting chased, Nancy Kerrigan was getting clubbed, coffee was being sipped by our Friends at Central Perk, and I was having the same minor mouth surgery that I had last week.  Same experience pretty much –  overall it was uncomfortable, slightly painful and something I hope to never repeat.  But in Junior High having mouth surgery meant something WAY worse than discomfort.  Having mouth surgery in Junior High meant being completely and totally shunned from the Friday night game of Spin the Bottle.  Gasps!  Oh the horror!

Thinking back to these days made me reminisce about all kinds of humiliating experiences and bad decisions that I faced in my youth.  And now that I have millions, thousands, a few blog followers (Hi Mom!) I thought it would be best for me to come clean with the skeletons in my closet before Perez HIlton finds out.  So here goes:

The Dirty Little Secrets of a Mommy McBlogger

I’m a…

  • Spin the Bottle rejectee – Yep, the above story is a true story.
  • Troll collector – Yeah, I know.  Troll collecting is almost worse than saying I did illegal drugs.  It’s creepy and uncomfortable but likely these freaky dolls are a thing of my post.  
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      Creeeeeeepy

  • Former perm victim – I once rocked the body wave, or should I more appropriately say that the body wave rocked me.  Either way it was awful and I’ll never go back to those dark days of my life.
  • Former Headgear wearer – Speaking of embarrassing situations of my youth, I’m admitting that I wore headgear.  And not just any headgear, I wore the really awful kind that went around my head and left big marks in my hair.  My sister threw magnets at me and hung Christmas ornaments from me during the minimum of 14 hours per day I had to wear it for almost one year.  But it wasn’t all bad because I was allowed to take it off when I saw Boyz II Men in concert.  Score!  Turns out It’s Not so hard to say goodbye to yesterday when yesterday includes trolls and headgear.
This wasn't me but I wore headgear just like this.  Fashion forward bitches!

This isn’t me in the picture but I wore headgear just like this.
Fashion forward bitches!

  • Recovering Late-aholic – The first 20+ years of my life I was late for everything.  But I finally admitted I had a problem, went through the 12 step process to overcome it and I’ve been relatively clean ever since.  I do relapse occasionally but who doesn’t when you have kids?

And lastly…

  • I was a serious late bloomer – I believed in the tooth fairy way too long, I slept with my stuffed animals way too long and I got boobs way too late.  In 8th grade I was actually dubbed the Founder of the Itty Bitty (you-fill-in-the synonym for boob) committee.

There you have it.  I’ve now come clean with my deep dark secrets of youth.  Nothing scandalous really, just some seriously dorky experiences that I now look back on as opportunities to “build character.”  And luckily I’ve been able to gain a little more wisdom, a little more fashion sense and a bra size that doesn’t contain the same acronym as the Automobile Association of America.  Perhaps the reasons we live through the disasters of our youth isn’t so we can get kicked out of the game of Spin the Bottle, but maybe it’s so we can feel more prepared when it’s time for the real game of Life.

And sorry perez Hilton, you’ll have to keep looking if you were hoping to expose an outrageous history of a blogger.

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A snow day picnic with some sweet desserts

I owe Mother Nature an apology.  If it wasn’t for her blizzard (that I cursed at earlier this week) I wouldn’t be having a picnic right now.  

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Snow day picnic – party of one!

And for dessert at the picnic, it’s a little slice of heaven… a sleeping baby, a completely unexpected free afternoon, a hot coffee & some Girl Scout cookies.   True, we might never ever see summer, but I haven’t had a day like this in months and it feels AMAZING.  Thank you Mother Nature.

Today is a reminder that life is about the sweet stuff, so here are some other fun little happenings in our world right now:

  • New episodes of Parenthood
  • A favorite little St. Patty’s day nephew who turns ONE this weekend!  Happy Birthday Jack!!!
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It’s hard to believe Ryan became a big brother to Jack an entire year ago! I sure love these little guys.

  • Good friends that have had great news lately
  • Shamrock shakes!
  • Some really big wins at work
  • A daughter that recently fell in love with karaoke (or perhaps she just like drooling on the mic)
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“I will survive”

  • An upcoming visit from the Easter Bunny
  • A facelift for the blog by the summer (hopefully)
  • A June wine tour
  • A Q cousins weekend that is getting closer and closer
  • SUMMER!!  Even thought it feels like it will never ever get here

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    “Hurry up summer, I wanna wear these cool shades of mine!”

  • And the opportunity to finish this post so I can enjoy some snuggle time with my favorite little karaoke star

Whether your drink of choice is SImilac, juice or Pinot Grigio, I’m a big believer that we need to sometimes slow down and focus on keeping our bottles half full!  I’m not always good at it myself but today was a great reminder of it.  What sweet little things are happening in your worlds?

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How Sweet it is to have the Facebook page Liked by you!

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A funny hubby, a cute baby and the Target Cartwheel app

Thankful?  Yep, I’m absolutely thankful!

I have a funny hubby, cute baby and the Target Cartwheel app… what else could a girl need (seriously I think those 3 things make up the ‘basic’ level on the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs)?

I think we all try to be extra aware of the good stuff around us at this time of the year (at least until we wake up at 2 am the day after being thankful to arm wrestle people for hot deals on laptops, but whatever).   I could write about all the obvious things in my life that I love, but who’s got time for that… there’s food to be eaten!  So I thought I’d go a different route and think about all the little itty-bitty things that make life sweet.

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::  A day in the life of a Thankful mom  ::

5:30 am – Alarm, snooze, snooze, hear baby girl, slip out of bed to get sweet sleepy baby… and the thankfulness begins…

…Thankful for flannel sheets (even if I don’t want to get out of them), thankful for Kenzie’s adorable bed head, thankful for extra absorbent diapers, thankful for morning snuggles…

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Little pumpkin bed head… melts my heart!

6:21 am

…Thankful for hot showers, thankful for tights so I don’t have to shave my legs, thankful for a husband who did laundry the night before (true story, Denny does all the laundry)…

7:05 am

…Thankful (SO THANKFUL) for Tim Ho’s K-cups, thankful for morning playtime with Kenz, thankful for the Today Show, thankful for binkies on a string, thankful for Cheerios…

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Mornings haven’t been this amazing since the days of kegs & eggs in college!

7:32 am

…Incredibly thankful for a wonderful caregiver, thankful for a baby that (usually) doesn’t cry at drop-off, thankful for a commute that gives me just enough time to catch up with a few loved ones…

7:55 am

…Thankful for Pandora, thankful for cute baby pics to look at while I’m in the office, thankful for a system to prioritize e-mails, thankful for my OU mouse pad…

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Speaking of pictures on my desk, here’s Thanksgiving 2012. Our little turkey was about 7 weeks old.

8:45 am

…Thankful for a job that I really truly enjoy, thankful for a cool view of medical campus out office window, thankful for funny co-workers…

11:45 am

…Thankful for flat shoes to run errands, thankful for $5 foot longs, thankful for texting to send a note to a friend I haven’t talked to lately…

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3:10 pm

…Thankful for a husband who likes to check-in during the day, thankful for leftover Subway cookies from lunch…

4:35 pm

…Thankful for flex time, thankful for blue tooth in my car, thankful for a husband who does pick-up duty…

5:40 pm

…Thankful for fun mail, thankful for Digiorno pizzas, thankful for sweat pants, thankful for sippy cups…

7:40 pm

…Thankful for adorable bare baby bums, thankful for baby shampoo that doesn’t burn if it goes in eyes, thankful for the smell of a clean baby…

8:20 pm

Thankful for a chance to just sit, thankful for baby video monitors, thankful for ice cream, thankful for DVR…

9:40 pm

…Thankful for a few minutes to share my thoughts on the blog, thankful for YOU for stopping by to read it…

And at the end of the day (every day)

…I’m thankful for all the countless blessings we have, and I’m thankful the people in my world (both with us and the ones we carry in our hearts) for the impact they leave in my life…

(Speaking of, this is one of my favorite pictures of when Aunt Lorraine met Makenzie last Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) would have been my Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Jim’s 50th wedding anniversary.   She’ll be in our thoughts all day)

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What I would give to go back to last year for just a little more time with Aunt Lorraine…

Wishing you and your families an awesome, turkey-filled holiday as you celebrate with all the people who make you thankful!

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Thirsty Thursday!

Thursday Thursday Thirsty Thursday!

I love me some Thursdays!

Some random reasons why:

  • Thursdays are like a mini Christmas Eve every week!!  It’s hard to not spend the day dreaming about unwrapping that big gift full of sleeping in and family fun.
  • Lots of good people were born on a Thursday – my sissy Melissa, Denny, yours truly, Ryan & Kenzie
  • Visits from my Friends back in the day – Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey & Phoebe!
  • 2 words – Quad Night!  Ever since the excitement of Thursdays in Athens I’ve kept a special little place in my heart for Friday Eve

  • Dunder Mifflin and the Dept. of Parks & Rec are always open on Thursdays
  • Turkeys!  Thursdays are the only weekday when you get to sit in elastic pants, eat like a fool and then watch parades and football

and coming soon…

  • Mommy McBlog posts every Thursday morning (I’ll actually post sometime Wednesday night but likely you’ll be sleeping by then)

In my attempts to balance it all I’ve decided that scheduling a little time each week to blog would be a good way to ensure I get a little me time and to ensure I don’t forget about one of my favorite hobbies.  So grab your bottle, get your sippy cup and fill your mug, it’s a Thirsty Thursday on Mommy McBlog!

I can’t guarantee there will be any Junction Punches, but hopefully you’ll be a little bit thirsty for some coffee, you’ll be a little bit thirsty for a little break in your morning and you’ll be a lot thirsty for some random rambling of an Irish Mommy.

I hope to see you here!

Cheers!

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Belly up to the mousepad, your morning is about to get a little wild!

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One-Minute (Blog) Bedtime Stories

Time and Energy – my two biggest enemies.

I can’t seem to find both together, and sometimes I can’t even find them individually.   I realize that complaining about being a Mom is like complaining about winning the lottery, but balancing it all can definitely be a challenge some days.   Between work, the house, family obligations, and all the demands of life I’m always questioning if I’m dedicating enough time and energy to being an awesome Mom.  I think I do okay, but some  ALL days I wish I had more.

Then I stumbled upon a little blast from the past in Makenzie’s bookshelf that gave me an idea of how to deal with this.  Hello One Minute Bedtime Stories by Sherry Lewis.  This book was mine as a kid, hence the copyright of 1982, and it had an insightful story that I thought was worth sharing.

Snuggle up with a blankie, and grab a bottle and a binky… it’s bedtime story time on the blog.

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The Big Family in the Little House

Once there was a poor man who had many troubles.  So he went to a wise man in the town and begged for help. “My wife, my father, my six children, and I all live crowded together in a tiny little house.  We trip and bump into each other all day, have little room to sleep, and no privacy.  What shall we do?”  The wise man considered a moment and then said, “How many animals do you have in your barn?”  “A cow, a goat, a pig and some chickens,” the man answered.  “Good.  Go home and take all of the animals into the house with you,” the wise man said.  The poor man was surprised, but he did as he was told.  And the following day he was back.

“What a terrible thing you had me do,” he said.  “The animals are into everything.  They have turned the house into a dirty barn.  They have eaten our food and we have had to sleep standing up.”

The wise man thought again and said, “Now go home and take the animals out of the house.”  The poor man hurried home and did so.  The next day he was back smiling.  “With the animals out of the house, it seems quiet and peaceful now,” he said.  “And with no animals around it is so clean.  And my wife and children, my father, and I have much more room in which to eat and sleep.  Thank You for helping us.  I’d give anything to be as clever as you are.”

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There you have it.  I’m not exactly the wisest man in this town, but when life seems busy, think about adding more instead of stressing over what’s already there.

Volunteer for a few more committees, work longer, commit to more obligations.  When your bank account seems scarce, add in a few more bills.  When your house seems dirty, bring in some barn animals (Mommy McBlog can not be held liable due to damage of floors brought about by cows, goats, pigs and chickens).   And when you feel like you can’t take any more, take more.   I promise you won’t break.   And just when you think you really truly will break, take a deep breath and go back to the life you once knew.

Your once crazy chaotic mess might suddenly seem a little calmer, a little more manageable and a lot more enjoyable.  And if you’re lucky, those around you will appreciate the calmer, more manageable, more enjoyable you!

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A cow, a goat, a pig and some chickens have already liked Mommy McBlog on Facebook.

Have you?

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