Dear Makenzie, a story about a little dancer

Dear Makenzie Ruth,

Tonight I want to tell you a story about a little dancer. You know her well…


The story began late last summer.  It was before this little dancer turned two.  The story began when a Mommy & Daddy signed up their little girl for Saturday morning Mommy & Me dance class.  The Mommy took the little girl to buy her first pair of tiny size 6.5 tap shoes in anticipation of the start of class. For weeks before class started the energetic little girl ran around the house making tons of noise with her new little white shoes and yelling, “Tap, tap, tap tap, tap!”

Then came this little girl’s very first tap class. It was a big day because it also happened to be the day she turned two!   The little dancer was shy at first and stayed close to her Mommy, but eventually she came out of her shell. This little dancer with pigtails and a pink leotard was finding her place in tap class.


October 4, 2014 – A big day! This little dancer turned two, went to her very first tap class, and found out that her soon-to-be arriving sibling would be a Boy!

The week and months flew by. Fall turned to winter. The little dancer turned into a big sister. Her family of three turned into a family of four. The once shy little girl turned into a confident toddler tapper.


The little tapper meeting her little brother.

Each week became more exciting than the last.  The Mommy and little girl would do their taps steps and then they would dance to the Wake up & Wiggle song, the Clap your hands song, the Teddy Bear song and many others. The little girl loved learning new steps with her wonderful teacher, Miss Liza.

By the time spring arrived the Mommy and the little girl were working on their recital dance and getting ready for the trip to the big stage. Then it was finally recital day! The pink and sparkly costume was laid out, the bobby pins were packed and the grandparents were starting to arrive in town. The Mommy was so nervous that she barely slept the night before. She was hoping that the big stage and the full audience wouldn’t scare her two-year-old dancer.

The morning was a blur and suddenly the little girl and the Mommy were waiting in the wings of the stage holding hands and waiting for the music to start.  The song Momma I’m a Big Girl Now started and the duo skipped onto stage.  The little girl and her friends in class had practiced many times but when the Mommy watched her little girl she felt something she couldn’t put into words.  Her heart was overflowing with emotion watching her little girl proudly do each dance step.  The Mommy could barely hold back the tears. In what felt like just a few seconds the song ended and the little girl was posing with her arms up.  The sweet little girl did great!!!!

Dance time!

And then came the coolest part. Miss Liza walked onto the stage and stopped the dance recital. The little girl and her five other friends in class were the youngest tappers in the studio so Miss Liza wanted to personally introduce each of them to the audience. It was such an awesome moment. As she introduced each little girl, the dads come up and gave them flowers. When it was the little girl’s turn she excitedly jumped up and down to greet her daddy.

The little girl was beyond excited to have her Daddy come on stage and give her flowers!

During the finale the little girl went on stage with all the big girls! They danced to A Dream is a Wish from Cinderella.

After the recital the little was greeted by all of her family and friends who came to watch her very first dance recital.

Proud Daddy & his little girl.

The little dancer with some of her favorite big girls – Molly & Abbi.

‘Liva’ & Rachel with the little dancer.

Cousin Ryan & Auntie Mimi even came from Ohio to be a part of the day.


So full of energy!

As a special gift the little girl’s Aunt Melissa gave her a ballet painting that once hung in Aunt Melissa’s room when she was a little girl.


The little dancer was so tired that she fell asleep on the way home while still wearing her taps shoes.  Perhaps she was dreaming of her next recital.


Makenzie, the little girl who made her Mommy, Daddy, Little Brother, family & friends so proud last Saturday was you!   We are very lucky to see you grow right in front of us.  Whether you continue to tap, whether you play sports or whether you find happiness in just reading a book, I want you to do it with all your heart!

Thank you for letting me be a part of our first year of tap.   Next year you will go into the dance studio all by yourself but I’ll keep with me the fun memories of our year in Mommy & Me class.
I Love you so much, xoxo

Dear Makenzie, absence makes the heart grow fonder

Dear Makenzie,

Hi munchkin!  Guess what?!?   We’re getting closer to October!  October means long weekends, a trip to the pumpkin patch, your Birthday and your sibling’s gender reveal.

This goes without saying but September has been crazy.  It is easily my busiest month of the year at work.  I miss you when I’m gone but I’m thankful I have a job I love.  I’m thankful that the best Daddy Daycare conveniently opens at 5 pm each night (and sometimes on the weekends).  I’m thankful for the cute CEO of Daddy Daycare.  I’m thankful you don’t mind easy meals like Digiorno pizzas and chicken nuggets.  And I’m thankful that your little heart is full of forgiveness when I work late or miss a bedtime.

But to be honest, this month hasn’t been all bad.  It’s reminded me that it’s okay to have a career AND a family.  It turns out that the world won’t explode when I’m gone from you.  In fact, you have tons of fun at the world-famous Daddy Daycare, and I’m a more appreciative mom because I value my time with you so much more.

This month has reminded me that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  During the time we’ve spent together I’ve appreciated you SO much more, and you’ve melted my heart SO much more.

Here are some of my favorite little things you do…

You sing.  During bedtime a few weeks ago I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to you and you started singing back to me.  Talk about melting my heart!

You show me stuff.  Big stuff, little stuff and everything in between.  You take my hand and say, “Come mama, come.”  We look at rocks, and flowers and dolls, and all kinds of fun stuff.  How lucky am I to be the one worthwhile of seeing the world from your perspective?

You talk to your baby sibling.  Lately you like to touch my belly and say. “Hi baby!  Hiiii!”  I’m not sure if you grasp what’s about to happen in a few months, but we don’t really grasp it either so I guess we’ll learn together.

And most importantly, you always take those cute little chubby arms of your and throw them around my neck when I get home.  No matter how long I’ve been gone, you always greet me with a big hug. and a “Love you Mama.”

Sometimes life keeps us busier than we might think we can handle, but the time away sure makes me extra grateful for the time together.  Makenzie, you continue to grow and amaze me every single day.  Somehow, you are a mere 5 days away from being TWO years old!  You… my sweet, colicky, newborn baby girl… are growing up!  I can’t promise I’ll be there for you every moment of your life, but I can promise I’ll never take our time for granted.

Erin Kenz color

My buddy! Love this little girl.

Get out your party hat and your pumpkin socks Makenzie… October is just around the corner!






Dear Makenzie, you’re my favorite staycation buddy

Dear Makenzie,

Hi little pumpkin, it’s me, Mom.  You will undoubtedly grow older and forget many of the moments and experiences of your childhood, but I want you to always know what a special week we just had.

Last week your Dad and I took time off work for a family staycation.  We saved you the misery of a long road trip, we woke up in our own beds each morning, and we were able to be tourists in our own backyard.  It was a great week and you were a very fun little staycation buddy.


In case you someday forget, here is our virtual scrapbook of the week:

::  A Trip to the Olcott Beach Carousel Park  ::

This is THE cutest little kiddie park!  You rode over 20 rides and loved the short lines.  And as a bonus, it’s only a quarter per ride.  We’ll definitely be back!


The old school beep beep cars. You liked to pull the string and ring the bell.



Flying high in the jet fighters



Family hot air ride while dressed in our finest bonnets (ignore the blank stare on your cousin’s face in the swim trunks)


::  Playdate fun  ::


Tickle monster visit


::  A trip to Sunset Bay Beach  ::

Luckily we had hot weather one of the days and we headed to the shores of Lake Erie for some fun in the sun.


You loved the sand and the water! You’re our little beach baby 🙂


::  Breakfast fun  ::

We spent mornings spent in our jammies and you did a great job helping me make pancakes, yum!


Try it Mom!

 ::  Visit from Mamaw and PapPap  ::


Loving your Mamaw


Swing with pappap 8_2014

You had a great time riding the ‘Wheee!’ with Pappap

::  A trip to the county fair  ::

Nothing says county fair like a ride on the mini tractors.  My favorite attraction was the hand sanitizing station.


The beep beep tractors


Thank you Makenzie for bringing so much fun into our world!  Your Dad and I would not know what to do with our time off without you (wellll maybe we would do something like golf or sleeping in but those are overrated anyway).  It was such a fun week and it will be even more fun when you have a little brother or sister to join in the craziness.

I love you to the moon and back munchkin.



Lucky Charms and an awesome Friday

::  Today was very blog-worthy.

It was nothing momentous but everything wonderful about being a Mom.  ::

Long before Makenzie, long before Denny and long before I knew much about anything, I knew I wanted to be a Mom.  In fact I spent my entire life dreaming about it and practicing my Mom skills with every Cabbage Patch Kid in Trumbull County, Ohio.  In my dreams I envisioned rocking and singing lullabies, chatting and giggling in the car, exploring and visiting fun places, and living every moment in bliss.

Then I became a mom, and the bliss lasted about half a day.  To be precise it lasted 5 hours until I tried to breastfeed and I realized this whole Mom thing was wayyyy harder then I envisioned in my dreams.  Cue reality.

I think I’m getting better each day, but balancing being a mom, wife, employee, sister, friend, housekeeper, chef, birthday gift getter,  bill payer, thank you note writer, blogger, and everything else is not an easy feat.

But today was different.  Today I took a vacation day (thankfully I have an incredibly supportive workplace that allows this).  And today I threw responsibility out the window.  Today I woke up and cuddled with Makenzie.  Today I went outside at 7:50 am simply because Kenzie wanted to.  Today I did a whole bunch of fun things just because they’re fun.  Today was a great, incredibly awesome, memorable, very fun day.

Makenzie and I had a blast.  We ate Lucky Charms.  We waved at neighborhood puppies.  We cruised around in the Cozy Coupe.  We left the dishes in the sink (well at least until nap time).  We walked around Target… yes, we ditched the cart and we both walked because Kenzie wanted to.  We jumped on the trampoline at Rolly Pollies.  We sang songs in the car.  We ignored the time.  We ate at McDonald’s and fed each other french fries.  We (well I) didn’t beat myself up for forgetting a bib.  We came home and left our shoes by the door.  We read books.  We had a picnic.  We had one of the best days I can remember in a long time.

We didn’t do much, but at the same time we did everything that matters.

Today life was good and simple and fun.  In fact it was better than the dreams I envisioned because it actually happened.  And I’m not sure Makenzie will remember this day but I’ll never forget it.

And Kenzie girl, if you read this someday, thank you for the fun today.  I hope you know just how much I love being your mom.  It rocks!  Let’s do this again soon.  xoxo, Mom



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If you weren’t so cute

Dear Kenzie,

Hey girl, it’s me Mom.  I thought I’d just send you a quick little note because it’s been such a crazy few weeks and I’m stil grappling with how quickly time passes!  It seems like we merely blinked and you transformed from a cuddly infant to a very independent little 17-month-old toddler.  You have countless energy and tons of personality!  In fact you have so much to discover we have to change your diapers standing up while you simultaneously play with your dolls, dial people on my phone and remove every single wipe from the container.  Needless to say you keep us hopping!


“Mom I’m way too busy for a picture!”

But guess what?  And as much as you make our lives busy, busy, busy, your button nose, your pudgy tummy, your cute bum, your teeny tiny fingers, and your sweet little personality make us incredibly thankful to be your parents.

If you weren’t so cute…

I’d probably get annoyed when you throw your Cheerios.  I’d probably lose my patience when you toss your sippy cups and I’d probably get frustrated because you always seem to finish eating your dinner right about the time I sit down to eat mine.

If you weren’t so cute…

I wouldn’t sprint to my car at the end of the workday and speed all the way to pick you up.  I wouldn’t cry on the nights that I don’t get to see you before you head to dreamland, and I wouldn’t spend hours stroking your hair while you sleep.

If you weren’t so cute…

I wouldn’t be able to climb out of bed in the middle of the night when you have a bad dream.  I wouldn’t be able to find the energy to rock you back to sleep, and I wouldn’t agree to letting you sleep in our bed on more occasions than I like to admit (especially because we said we’d never be “those parents”).  Oops.

If you weren’t so cute…

The constant messes would get old, the sometimes short naps would be frustrating, and the not enough time-itis would be way more acute .

But at the end of the day, your cuteness and your sweetness prevail over everything else.

Makenzie if you weren’t so cute our hearts would not be SO incredibly full of love for you.  Our world would not be SO full of joy.  And our lives would not be completely and endlessly overflowing with love and appreciation for our adorable little girl (even if we still can’t figure out just how you became so darn adorable).

If you weren’t in our world I honestly can’t imagine what we would be doing (aside from a little extra sleep).  So chalk one up for cuteness!   They say beauty is only skin deep, but in your case, the cuteness goes deep down into every part of tiny little you!

I love you to the moon and back Kenzie girl!




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Dear Makenzie… two words to keep in mind

Dear Makenzie,

As much as I don’t want to think about it, there is a slight possibility that…

Someday you might  roll your eyes at me because I won’t let you get a new cell phone… someday you might tell me that I’ve ruined your life because I won’t buy you that ahh-mazing pair of ripped jeans from Abercrombie… someday you might say that I’m the worst mom ever because you didn’t wake up to a brand new car on your birthday… someday you might cry yourself to sleep because materialistic stuff will seem more important to you than everything else in life.

 I really hope that this never happens.  I hope you prove me wrong and stay your sweet self forever.  But if it does happen, I want you to keep in mind two very important little words…

Chevy citation



Your Aunt Melissa dug up this gem of a photo tonight.  Believe it or not, we spent our high school days driving around in a non air-conditioned, noisy 1987 beige Chevy Citation appropriately nicknamed Clicker.

This picture brought me way back to what I thought was an embarrassing time in my life.  But it turns out it wasn’t really so bad after all.  The plastic seats might have left waffle marks on our legs in the hot summer months, but the car also left a special memory in the hearts of all who piled in it to drive to football games and parties.

So there you have it.  A little story from me to you to hopefully help you not lose track of the important things.  But if you get lost along the way (and I expect that you might) and what you have seems to be more important than who you are, I’ll be there to help you get back on track… as long as you don’t mind getting back on track with a Mom who drives a basic car and wears jeans from Target.

Love you to the moon and back,



PS  Your Dad had a Chevy Citation when he was in high school too!


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Merry Christmas Baby!

(We’ve been relaxing and enjoying the holidays, hence the blog slacking.  I promise I’ll go back to my regular Thursday morning posting schedule next week.  Until then, pass the chocolate Santas!)

Dear Makenzie,

Christmas has come and gone in the blink of an eye.  It’s almost impossible to believe that we just celebrated our second Christmas with you… wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we put you in your teeny tiny 1st Christmas outfit to meet Santa?

12_1 Kenzie with Santa 1

December 2012 – Our little Christmas baby meeting Santa for the first time

Christmas 2013 has been a wonderful!  Your dad and I are still on vacation, and all this extra time with you has been awesome – lots of sleeping in (if you count 7:30 as sleeping in), playing, reading and giggling .  You make life so much fun!

In case you don’t remember this Christmas I figured I’d write this post for you with some of the best parts of the holiday season.

:: Decorating ::

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You were really helpful this year in Decking the Halls!  Thanks Kenz! (Right after you helped hang these ornaments, you took most of them down and piled them in your wagon, but either way it was very cute.)

:: Meeting Santa! ::

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This December marked your second visit to Santa! You did great and you even waved to your Daddy and me as you told Santa what you wanted. You definitely made the Nice list. Way to go baby girl!

:: Enjoying the lights ::

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Here you are at the door checking out the neighborhood Christmas lights! I’m shocked by how grown up you have become.

Then our family holiday fun began on Christmas Eve with a drive to Ohio.  I’ll let the pictures tell the rest…

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You were snug as a bug as we cruised along route 90 to Ohio.

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You tolerated a few pictures as we dressed you up as Kenzie Claus. Daddy sure loves you!

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Here you are getting ready for a Christmas Eve sleep as Nana reads you and Ryan a bedtime story.

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Visions of sugarplums dancing in your head…

And finally, it was Christmas morning!!!

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Ryan found the first gift of the year, his new train! All Aboard!

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The morning was a blur of wrapping paper. You, and your cousins Ryan and Jack must have been good this year.  Santa brought you lots of cool toys.

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Jack Jack enjoyed his 1st Christmas along with Auntie Melissa!

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Your new trike and matching helmet (in your reindeer-footie jammies).  You melt our hearts. 🙂

After a few days we headed to Pittsburgh for a very McGee Christmas!

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Cousin Connor was excited to see you!

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Auntie Meg checked out the 2014 calendar with you.

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Your Mamaw and Pappap bought you your very FIRST car this Christmas! It’s a super cute VW Beetle. We can’t wait to see you cruise down the street in it!

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Your friend Charlotte loved your car too!

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And there was more bedtime story fun waiting for you!

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And it wouldn’t be a Christmas without the official cousin shot. It turned out very cute this year!

Another great Christmas in the books!

Makenzie, you make the holidays SO much fun.  Your Dad and I count our lucky stars every day for healthy, happy you!!  Merry Christmas Baby, you’re the best gift ever.   We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!

Love you to the moon and back,




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Dear Makenzie… A little note to the very special Birthday Girl

Dear Makenzie Ruth,

I say your full name not because you’re in trouble but because I like to say it.  Makenzie Ruth.  Makenzie Ruth.  It makes me smile.  And it makes you feel more real.   And after celebrating your 1st Birthday this weekend I’m having trouble believing it’s real.  How did a year pass so quickly?  I feel like it was only a few weeks ago that you were born.


I have a little confession.   Before you were born I would talk to you all the time.  I told you that I had it all under control and that I knew what I was doing.   Well, I lied.  Not intentionally, but the second we left the hospital your dad and I looked at each other and worried that we didn’t have the slightest idea of how to take care of you.  On your first night at home we all slept in the family room because we were too scared to carry you up the stairs and put you in your room by yourself.  Luckily we’ve since overcome the fear of stairs.

And luckily I didn’t lie to you about everything.  In fact there are a few things I want to tell you a hundred more times because when I said it the first time I meant it…

  • You’re the most beautiful baby girl ever, inside and out!  True story.  I’ve said it a million times and I’ve meant it a million more times.  Just look in the mirror.
  • My goal is for you to be healthy and happy.   And maybe if I’m lucky I can teach you a thing or two about life – how to swing a golf club, how to have compassion for those around you, how to have appreciation for your good days, and how to have a sense of humor for your not so good days.

And most importantly,

  • I’m here for you always.  Even during teething pain at 3 am… even during nights when there are monsters under your bed… even during scary thunderstorms… even during junior high when the boy you like won’t ask you to dance (his loss, and I promise I won’t literally be there but I’ll be a text away)… even during finals week at grad school (again, not literally there, but just call me)… even during the toughest times of your life and especially during the happiest moments of you life.  I’ll always be there for you – as your mom, as your support, as the one who will keep your heart safe.

Thank you so much Makenzie Ruth.  You’ve brought a whole new level of happiness into our world.  You’ve also brought me a whole new appreciation for coffee (and I mean that in the best way possible).

Happy Happy 1st Birthday Baby Girl!  May all your wishes come true (mine already have).



Dear Makenzie – Some thoughts about your ears

Hey Kenz girl,

It’s me, Mom.

You’re probably going to roll your eyes at this… but I want to remind you that you have absolutely precious, adorable, sweet, little, perfect baby girl ears.  They are so cute and they make me smile.   And the reason I remind you of this is because yesterday at the grocery store I saw a girl about 16 years older than you who decided she didn’t love or appreciate her ears in their current shape.  In fact she wanted to change the shape of her ears so much that she put giant plastic round spacers in them to create a huge permanent holes in both of her ears.

It’s possible that this girl thought that it’s cool to permanently put giant holes in her ears.  Or perhaps she put giant holes in her ears to impress people in her life.  But maybe, just maybe she decided to stretch out her ears because her mom forgot to remind her just how precious her ears were.

So if you ever think it’s super cool to stretch the crap out of those ears, just remember that your lame old conservative Mom thinks they are perfect as is.  Plus if you ever want to stretch out your skin, you’ll easily be able to do this when you have kids (which is of course not likely to happen for at least 29 1/2 years since you aren’t allowed to date until then).

If you have any questions about this, ask your dad.  He’ll be more than glad to clarify about this situation and what you are and are not allowed to do to your ears.

Much Love,


PS  While we are on the topic of things that we are not excited about in our house, don’t even think about dancing like Miley Cyrus did at the VMA’s unless you want to be grounded until you are 73.  That’s absolutely not what we refer to when we sing the Shake your sillies out song.


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Dear Makenzie – a little tale about Lysol and Love

Dear Makenzie,

I have a little story I thought you might someday enjoy…  it reminds me of someone I know.



Once upon a time, there was a little house with red shutters.  In that little house with red shutters lived a (relatively) happy (but not annoyingly happy– what do you think this is, a fairytale?) husband & wife, and a cute kitty.  The happy wife was what some people would call “type-A” and kept a very organized and really clean house.  She liked Lysol, Windex and Pledge and she disliked messes.  She was happiest when everything in the home was in its appropriate place.

When the  happy husband & wife found out they would be parents, they spent months and months making sure the house was perfect for their new arrival.  After months and months of preparing a beautiful, sweet baby girl was born.  Everyone was happy (but not annoyingly happy, c’mon they were totally sleep deprived and completely unsure of what they were doing).

Then something happened… the beautiful, sweet baby girl turned into a beautiful, sweet baby girl who crawled.  She crawled all over and made huge messes.  She dumped out blocks, pulled down books, poured out sippy cups, opened up toy chests and turned the little house with red shutters into a complete mess.  She did it every day like clockwork, and she did it all day with an adorable grin.

The happy wife who once panicked at the site of a mess was slowly realizing something.  She loved her beautiful, sweet baby girl who crawled.  In fact she loved her beautiful, sweet baby girl that crawled SO much that her heart overflowed with happiness more than she ever thought possible.

And the once type-A happy wife that kept a neat & tidy home realized it was tons of fun to make messes, especially when in the company of that cute little crawler.  So the once type-A happy wife joined forces with the cute little crawler and together they played and giggled and turned the house into a mess.  Rather than filling her lungs with Lysol, the happy wife (and now happy mom) filled her heart with love.

And the happy husband & wife were now a happy family, and together they realized that the best home isn’t one full of clean floors and organized spaces… the best homes are ones filled with messes made by those you love most.

And they lived (mostly) happily ever after (except when they had visitors and the happy husband & wife bickered with each other because the house was a mess — like I said before, this is reality, not a fairytale).

The End.



Once upon a time, someone cool like you “Liked” MommyMcBlog

You lived happily ever after while enjoying random ramblings of a Mom.

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The End.