Get excited for Mother’s Day!

Hey Mamas,

The day has come.  Mother’s Day!  For all you sleep-deprived, creators of tiny monsters, get excited! Tomorrow is the day of sleeping in, sipping champagne and being appreciated for the other 364 days of the year when you’re wiping butts, molding minds and juggling life.  Nothing but pampering & relaxing for 24 hours, right?  Well, not exactly but it is a day to appreciate your crazy, lovable and amazing kids, and to appreciate the lessons that come along with them.  For me I realize that the more I know, the more I don’t know.


Take a look four years ago. Denny and I were feeling pretty ready for kids. So we headed out during Mother’s Day on a celebratory done-with-grad-school / could-be-the-last-vacation-before-baby trip to the Caribbean. Ahh, we were relaxed and excited. Why wouldn’t we be? We knew kids were on the horizon and we also thought we knew it all. Our kids would never have fried foods.  Our kids would always sleep in their own beds.  They would never have meltdowns, and we would never walk around in public covered in bodily fluids.  Nope, not us.  We were gonna be awesome.

may 2011 vacation

Living the dream… little did we know that we were about to get smacked with a wave of reality.

Then came three years ago.  Mother’s Day 2012.  We did it!  We actually made a human being, which was shocking considering the fact that I can barely make a casserole.  Baby McGee was yet to spend a day outside the womb, but we still felt pretty confident that we would be ahh-mazing parents. In fact, we even took advantage of Mother’s Day weekend to find out if we would be having a little boy or girl.  I thought I was quite the mom of the year throwing a party while pregnant.  Yep, you should have seen how tired I thought I was.

may 2012 it's a girl 1

One of my favorite days in life.  I bet Kenz was in my belly at that exact moment reading up on how to excel at being a colic-y baby.

 Enter two years ago.  And enter real tiredness. Our sweet girl had arrived 7 months prior and that year I finally got it. I understood what it meant to be humbled by a sweet and cuddly 8 lb, 3 oz baby with colic.  Mayday, mayday!  Our confidence was plunging rapidly toward the ground.

may 2013

We took this busy little lady to a fancy brunch for Mother’s Day. We scarfed down food while bouncing her on our lap, and then got the heck out of dodge while we finished chewing. Clearly it was very relaxing.

Then there was last year.  We were finally hitting our stride with this parenting thing.  One kid didn’t seem so scary anymore.  We successfully handled outings, vacations and dinners in restaurant.  We were unstoppable… and then I took a test the Friday before Mother’s Day.  A pregnancy test… and it was positive.  Wow, we were going to have another baby!!  Wow, we were going to have another baby??? What were we thinking?!?  We were hoping for a new addition, but suddenly our confidence crashed and burned.  Two.  Two kids?!?  Were we sure we could handle this?  Our Mother’s Day was a mix of joy and how-in-the-hell-can-we-handle-this nervousness.

may 2014 big sis

Big sis to be!

And now, our family is complete. We’ve had our crash and burn moments, but we’ve also had our life as a family of four is awesome moments.  Our kids have constantly reminded us that as much as we look like we are the ones in charge, we’re not.  But they also remind us that life is best when you slow down. They remind us that life is better as a family of four than it ever was as a family of two or three.  And they remind us that even if we don’t always know what we’re doing, most issues can be solved with a big hug and fruit snacks.


This year Happy Mother’s Day has more meaning than ever. But it’s really about the two little ones who made me a mommy and the tremendous support around us who make it possible to get through each day.

Happy Mother’s Day to my awesome mom who showed me that life isn’t complete without lots of fun and some occasional confetti.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother-in-law who always reminds me that there is no return policy on Denny.  She raised a great son who turned out to be an even better husband and Dad .

mamaw with kids
Happy Mother’s Day to my amazing and courageous sister who is raising two adorable little boys and running a full marathon in one week!  Can we say SuperMama??

Happy Mother’s Day to my sis-in-law Meg who is about to be Dr. and can rock out to Taylor Swift.

meg connor

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who stay up late wake up early scaring away monsters under the bed and rocking away sweet babies who aren’t tired.  Happy Mother’s Day to the new mamas and the veteran mamas.  Happy Mother’s Day to the moms trying to let go while yearning to hold on.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the women near, far and in our hearts who raised us to know what it is to be great Moms.


And now, bring on the champagne!

My sister Rocks!!!

There’s no doubt about it, my sister Melissa is The Coolest sister Ever!

A few weeks ago she entered us in a contest (thanks to the fabulous ladies at The Honest Mom Project – check them out) for a spa day and we WON!  YESSSSSSSS!   And I thought… Hey my sister deserves a blog post.

Then her Birthday rolled around and I thought… Hey it’s my sister’s Birthday and she deserves a blog post.

Then more time passed, (and I ate cookies rather than finishing a blog past) and I thought… My sister deserves a blog post, darn it!  It’s time I finish it.

So here’s why my sister Melissa is the best…

She knows good fashion when she sees it, whether in jammies or in stylish Easter dresses.

Melissa 1

Where’s the Beef?


Melissa 2

We sure knew how to make sleeves look awesome!

She was a super cool teenager and a very talented driver (minus the incident where the flying mailbox jumped on her car – crazy!)

Melissa 3

She was a huge reason why my time at OU was as fun as it was.  She took care of me as a freshman and taught me everything I needed to know about happy little Athens, Ohio.

(And she bought me beer when I was 18.  Score!)

melissa 5

OU Graduation 2002 – Don’t you wonder what onlookers thought of us?

She (along with my best friend Sara) was the best MOH ever!

Melissa 4

Bachelorette fun!

She is an INCREDIBLE and loving Mom!

And she gives amazing advice and support to hormonal and clueless new Moms (not that I know).

Auntie Melissa, cousin Jack, Kenz and Mom

There’s no denying it, Melissa is an awesome big sis and best friend.

It sure is good to be a Q!

q family photo

Matching t-shirts NOT planned. We’re such dorks.

LLKK Melissa!


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You’ll meet some amazing ladies like my sis Melissa! 


Truth be told…

I’m throwing out my “keeping the bottle half full” rule and replacing it with a tall glass of Pinot Honesty.

Truth be told…

Tonight is annoying.  Tonight I am cranky.  Tonight I am NOT a happy camper.  And tonight I have no legitimate reason why.  So I called in the big guns to deal with my medical semi-emergency.

Cue my girl, Doc McStuffins.

The Doc is In!!

Time for my check-up!  She’s gonna check my ears, check my eyes and find out how much I’ve grown.  Sure enough, Doc found some symptoms:  irritability, worried husband who thinks he did something wrong, fatigue, and general urge to run away by myself to Target even if for just 30 minutes.

Doc thought about it and then realized the diagnosis:  A General case of Sick-of-being-an-adult-itis.  Yikes!  This is one for the Big Book of Boo Boos.

According to Doc, Moms occasionally feel burned out after day in and day out of busy schedules, never-ending to do lists, a house that doesn’t clean itself and constant meal planning, baby bag packing, dishwasher emptying, and general need for making decisions.  

Luckily it’s very curable.  The treatment includes: sweat pants, a two-hour liquid diet of Riesling, an early bedtime and a round of take-out the next day to avoid a nasty flare up of ‘what the duck is for dinner tonight-itis’

So on that note, I’m checking out of life and pretending to be my 20-year-old self for just a few hours.  I’m gettin’ ca-razy and I’m going to bed without my shirt ironed, without my K-cup placed strategically next to my to-go cup, without my lunch packed and without a dinner plan for tomorrow.

Will I regret this night of irresponsibility tomorrow at 5:35 am?  You bet!

But by then my nasty 12-hour cranky-mom-atosis will be gone and I’ll return to my regular condition of Incredibly Thankful for all the awesome things we have going on in our world.

Once in awhile, feel free to let your bottle be half empty (especially if it’s your favorite bottle of wine).  It makes you a human.  And even Super Moms need to rest their capes once in a while.



Cranky, Party of one… your early bedtime awaits!

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One Tense Mama

My 2014 planner arrived this week, woo hoo!  There’s nothing I love more than having a fresh planner to mark birthdays, work events and vacation dates.  Totally lame but life’s all about the little things, right?

But before I could even flip to February I started thinking about my New Years resolutions.  I’m serious about this… 2014 WILL be the year I make and stick with my resolution.  I’ve known my resolution for a while so it’s time to get moving on it… and there’s not better way to hold myself accountable than to announce my resolution to all my millions thousands hundreds-ish readers on the blog (Hi Mom!). 

So without further adieu.

My 2014 resolution is…. (drumroll please)….

To be one tense Mom.

No, not tense as in uptight.  Tense as in present tense.

And here’s why…

Lately I’ve been thinking about how Moms are master multi-taskers.   Even when we’re with our babes we’re sometimes not with our babes.  Life pulls us in lots of directions and Moms, more than anyone, have a lot on their minds.   And I’ve come to the conclusion that even when you are with your kids, you may not be present with them, hence the Three Tenses of Mommy-ing.

Present Tense Mama – The present-tense Mom is with her kiddos and having fun. This is the Mom that’s fully engaged and paying 100% attention.  The present-tense Mom makes memories and lives in the moment.  She rocks!  This is my goal!!

Future Tense Mom – This is the Mom that’s spending time with her kiddos but rather than engaging she’s thinking about life 20 minutes from now, 4 hours from now and 3 days from now.  This mom’s packing sippy cups for the afternoon trip to the park…. while thawing meat for tonight’s dinner…. while making a shopping list for Sunday’s grocery (no doubt we’ve all done this).   She’s 10 steps ahead of the rest of the world.  Watch out world!

Past Tense Mom –  This Mom is spending times with her kids too, but rather than playing she’s caught up with the memories of the past.  This past tense mom is too busy to have fun because she’s taking pictures, making calendars and sending photo books to the grandmas.  Aside from carrying the baby, this mom carries passwords to all the accounts – Instagram, Shutterfly, and Snapfish.


It’s not a bad thing to be a past tense or a future tense Mom.  In fact it unavoidable at times, but my NY resolution is to focus on being a present-tense Mama with Makenzie as much as possible, and here’s a few tricks I’ve learned to achieve this….

  • Night-time prep – the more I can do while she sleeps, the less I have to do while she’s awake.  Nighttime = full-on prep mode.  Set out clothes, K-cups, keys, bags, bottles, binkies… you name it!   Granted mornings still get crazy at times, but once in awhile all the prep will give me some free time before work and Kenzie and I get to play, play play.
  • Committing to activities – It’s true that the swim class and baby gym class benefit Kenzie but the other perk is that committing to a regular activity requires me to be a present-tense Mom as we splash, tumble and make memories.

And lastly, the key to being a present-tense Mama is…

  • Dance parties – We love these!!  We stop everything and turn on 80’s station on Pandora to dance and get silly.  There’s no time to stress about planning for the future or snapping photos, there’s only time to get crazy and dance your cute little 13-month old heart out.  Awesome!!!


Now Bring it on 2014!

I’m challenging myself to be more tuned in as a Mom.

Will it work???  I hope!

I’ve got a goal.   I’ve got clear steps to achieve the goal.   So now let’s see if I can be less tense and more present tense.


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Schedule it!

Sunday nights are notorious for the Oh man, I didn’t get much done this weekend feeling.  But sometimes the best way to deal with the stress of balancing it all is to get away from it all.  It’s taken me months way too long (10 months to be exact) to figure this out, but I finally did!  Just a few nights ago, I finally got away with a close friend (also a new mom) and we spent two hours relaxing, drinking wine and eating cheesecake.  No diaper bags, no high chairs, no puffs – just us!  AMAZING!!

So reading my blog won’t finish your laundry, it won’t pay your bills, it won’t scratch any items off your to do list, and it won’t beat your Sunday Blues, but hopefully it will remind you that you just need to get away sometimes.

So, do it!  Text a friend and pick a date.  The cheesecake awaits!!

Wine and peanut butter cheesecake, yeeees!


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Liebster – to inspire and be inspired

Grammys, Oscars, Tonys, Liebsters… talk about elite awards!!

For those of you (likely all of you) wondering what the heck a Liebster award is, pull up a chair and grab a sippy cup…


The Liebster Award is an award given to the little guys by the little guys. You have to have less than 200 follows to be eligible.  I was nominated by a friend and fellow bobcat, Shannon at Smile & Write.  Go check out her blog!

1) Each blogger should answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
2) Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award on to and link them in your post   (I’m a super rebel because I didn’t tag 11)
3) Create 11 new questions for the chosen bloggers.
4) Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5) Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
6) No tag-backs!
Questions For Me
1. If you could only eat 1 food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The same incredible dinner I just ate… Yummy, awesome Picasso’s Pizza.
2. If you won a million dollars, what would be the first thing you would buy?
I’m pretty lame because the first thing I would do is pay off our student loans.  But that’s technically not a purchase, so then I’d pick up a Picasso’s pizza and book a month in Aruba with our families.
3. What is your inspiration for writing?
My blogging started because I wanted to remember our pregnancy with Makenzie, but then one thing lead to another and now I’m in love.  It’s become my escape to grab my laptop and write, and I think maybe, just maybe my rambling might occasionally offer some insight or support to a fellow Mom.
4. Are you an appetizer or a dessert person?
Dessert, hands down!
5. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I think I already mentioned that I’m pretty lame, but, I did spend 4 years in a little town called Athens, Ohio.  It was the land of Bricks of Beer, and the home of Ohio U.  And I would classify those years as slightly crazy.  I once went to a bar wearing a pan on my head… I skipped down Court Street signing Stand Up and Cheer… I sprayed glitter all over myself, on purpose.  Eeek, it was four crazy years!
6. Who is your role model and why?
Leslie Knope!  Fictional, yes.  Passionate, hilarious, super smart – yes, yes, yes!  She’s pretty cool.
WWLD: What Would Leslie Do?
7. What do you do to de-stress?
De-stress?? What does that mean?
8. Favorite guilty pleasure on tv?
Say Yes to the Dress & pretty much anything on Friday Bride Day.  Thanks TLC, what would I do without you?
9. What is your dream in life?
Don’t puke from reading this, but I kind of feel like I’m living it.  As a little girl this is what I hoped for… good husband, cute baby, cute house.  Perhaps a little less distance between family would be good and maybe an annual Mediterranean cruise, but otherwise things are good.
10. What is one thing that makes you amazing?
It’s pretty amazing that it’s 11 pm on a Friday and I’m still awake.
11. What is the best thing you have recently read?
E-Myth.  A good little book about understanding small business challenges.
My nominees
Drumroll Please…..
Melissa at The Bix Blog
Laura at Beirne Boys
Questions for the next round of Liebster Winners:
  1. Tea or coffee or mimosa?
  2. How many stamps are in your passport?
  3. Who is your favorite TV character?
  4. What would you do if you had a million hours?
  5. What was your favorite childhood memory?
  6. Would you rather to perm your hair or wear headgear the rest of your life?
  7. What is your biggest fear?
  8. Who is your favorite late night talk-show host?
  9. What percentage of time do you think about chocolate?
  10. What was your high school mascot?
  11. How cool is your blogger friend that gave you this Liebster award?
  12. If you could go to dinner with any public figure what would you order to eat?


I’m honored for such an award.  Thanks to the Academy and to all the little people that made this possible!  Hope to see you all at the Liebster after-parties on the Sunset Strip!!

A few extra quarters in the meter

Lately I’ve been battling a huge (sometimes) losing battle with time.  I feel like there’s not enough.  Perhaps I set my expectations of myself too high, perhaps I overbook myself, or perhaps it’s a combination of both.

I think I’m (mostly) doing okay at juggling it all, but I can’t seem to remember a day when I haven’t wished for just a few more minutes.  A few more minutes to devote to a work project to make it really good.  A few more minutes to sleep.  A few more minutes to play with my baby girl while she’s still a baby girl!   A few more minutes to hang out with my hubby so he knows just how much I appreciate him.  A few more minutes to chat with a good friend.  And especially lately I wish I had a few minutes to spend more time with family, especially those that are a few exits away on Route 90.

I know it’s silly to stress over because I can’t do much about the number of hours in a day.  No one can.  A few more minutes can’t be bought, can’t be sold, and can’t be preserved.  Or so I thought…

Then today I went out to grab lunch (since I didn’t have a few more minutes to make one), and as I searched my purse for quarters I thought about parking meters.  They sell time to people.  In fact, that’s their sole purpose.  Sell time to people and then stand by and tell the rest of the world that they are fully committed during the duration of the purchased time.  Such a simple concept… and it got me thinking that maybe we can learn from it.

We can’t exactly put parking meters on the people we love to lock in time with them.   If we could I’d dig through my purse and my bank account for days if it meant a few more meaningful minutes with those people I love and miss so much.   But perhaps I need to meter myself.  Maybe I need to really park myself into each thing that I do for a committed time period, and during that time focus on nothing else.  When the meter is done, I move on or risk being ticketed.  All too often I’m at too many places at once; often I’m just getting to work and already stressing about dinner, or I’m picking up Makenzie and stressing about stuff on my desk.  So maybe it’s time I focus on parking myself… in the moment, in the task, in my relationships.

It doesn’t mean I have to be rigid but I think it will help me feel better about how I’m spending my 24 hours each day.  And if I find myself parked somewhere really good — maybe all snuggled up with Kenz, or maybe on a hilarious phone call with a friend — then maybe I’ll drop a few extra quarters in the meter.


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Darn you Rosie!

It’s been one heck of a week!   I’ve missed bedtime 3 times.  (Insert sad face and extremely guilt-ridden Mom).

I’m glad to have a job I really enjoy.  And I’m so incredibly lucky that I have one heck of a husband who has no problem taking over all bedtime duties when I’m tied up with work.  But during weeks like this when I need more time, I get frustrated and blame the most obvious person there is.

Rosie the Riveter.  Rosie the darn Riveter!

Darn you Rosie!!

Rosie, I truly applaud your ambition and I fully respect your dream to create equality among the genders, but really Rosie… really?!  We Can Do It?!  C’mon,  this is a lot of pressure for women.  You’re killing me girl!

And honestly If you had just sat back and baked cookies a few more decades, Pinterest would have emerged and you could have used all that bustling energy of yours to craft yourself silly.

In some ways Rosie, you have a point. We CAN Do it all!   And We do DO it all every single day.  (Way to go Moms!)

But times have changed and I think it’s time your slogan does too.  It’s certainly not going to be the same for everyone but here are a few options…

rosie the riveter part-time basis

Sigh, Imagine how different like would be if Rosie Posie would have gone with this slogan

rosie the riveter spa

Ladies, I’d get this in writing

rosie the riveter cleaning lady

(A Roomba can be substituted if you can’t find a local Merry Maid)

So to the women of the world feeling the pressure of a slogan from the days before color TV, pressure no more!!  Take that darn slogan and make it your own!!

Here’s mine!

rosie the riveter flex time

PS  On a good note, you don’t have to do anything for another 3 days, wahoo.  Happy Memorial Day weekend to all!!

Dear Makenzie… A mother’s Day note from me to you

Dear Makenzie,

In case I haven’t shared this with you, my goal is to live to at least 100 so I can watch you grow, cheer for you, teach you, discipline you (sorry kiddo, it’s part of the game), comfort you, support you when you have to learn those necessary but difficult life lessons, and love you unconditionally.  I’m the only Mom you’ll ever have so even on the days when you swear that I ruined your life forever (followed by a dramatic door slam) just know that I’m still here for you.  Basically you’re stuck with me for good.  And I have about a million things I’d like to share with you so we’ll definitely need a good 50-70 more years together.   But in case we only get 49 years together or in case I forget something I want to teach you (not that I’d ever forget anything, except your bottles the other day, oops), I figured I’ll write it all down so you can someday read it.  So here goes…

Tomorrow is my 1st official Mother’s Day (unless you count last year when you were hanging out in my tummy) but I don’t need or want anything from you.  Instead I want to tell you that you’ve made me one of the luckiest mamas in the world.  The day is supposedly about appreciating Moms but without you I would not be one so let’s share this one together.

When I first laid eyes on you in the wee hours of the morning on October 4th, you absolutely melted my heart.  You were (and continue to be) the coolest baby of all time!  I’m not sure how you do it but you amaze me, you crack me up, you make me get up in the middle of the night without a second thought (a miracle in itself because I love my sleep), you make it okay to sing Wheels on the Bus all through the grocery store, and you make my heart feel so full that I honestly think it might explode some days.


Kenz, you’re kind of like hitting the baby lottery (except you make our bank account smaller not larger but you know what I mean).   And I’m still not sure how your dad and I got so lucky to have such a happy, healthy and sweet baby girl but we did.  We promise to never go a day without thanking our lucky stars, and to never ever take you for granted.

So let’s take each Mother’s Day as a chance to be extra appreciative that we have each other.  Let’s use Mother’s Day as another excuse to not worry about the obligations and To Do lists in life (which could be particularly difficult if you’ve inherited my Type-A traits), but instead use it as a day to hang out longer, stay up a little later and share some extra time together.

On Mother’s Day, it you & me, girl!  Who knows, 70 days like this might just fly by so let’s kick tomorrow off in style.  Snuggles, playtime, Elmo dance party, brunch and all your favorite books.

Love you SO much Kenzie, xoxo


PS  Let’s also take tomorrow to be SO grateful for all the other wonderful Moms, Aunts, Nanas, Mamaws and Great-Grandmas in our little world.  I can’t say it enough, but how’d we get so lucky?

Makenzie's GREAT grandparents.  What a lucky lady she is to have 6 grandparents!

Makenzie’s GREAT grandparents

5_4 Kenz Nana

Nana and her girl

5_5 Nancy and girls

A long line of McGee ladies

Auntie Melissa, cousin Jack, Kenz and Mom

Auntie Melissa, cousin Jack, Kenz and Mom

And last but not least some long distance love to Grammy Boo in Texas. See you soon, xoxo


I’ve been back to work for about 3 weeks now and attempting to juggle it all.  It’s not easy but it feels good when I (sometimes) get it right.  And please don’t judge me but it turns out I’m actually happy to be back to work.  I LOVED maternity leave and I miss our little girl all day, but I also appreciate having some balance.   So while I was racing down Route 33 on my way to work this morning (hoping that I remembered to leave bottles at daycare, worrying that I forgot to turn off the coffee pot and praying I put on matching shoes) I started to do a little thinking about my “title” in this world.

It’s a funny little thing how aspirations change over time.

Growing up I always knew I wanted to be known as Mom someday.  But I also had other goals.  In high school and college I was convinced I wanted a glamorous job.  I was hoping for a title that included the words VP or Chief.  I wanted to work in a tall building with a fancy title.  I wanted to wear heels and dressy clothes.    I was ready to take on the world!!

So I interned… lots!  Seven times to be exact.  I worked in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and NYC, and much of those times I worked for free.  Although the “experience” didn’t exactly pay for my college tuition I was convinced it would someday get me to my dreams.

Then I graduated OU and I jumped into the corporate world.  Sure I had a few “glamorous” moments.  I was able to work with some famous people and I spent plenty of days in heels and nylons.  But it turns out that famous people aren’t really that fun.  In fact when you work in an industry in which you are responsible for ensuring these “famous” people have a good stay, they can kind of be a famous pain in the panty-hose-wearing-a$$.   And wearing heels all day– well that gets old pretty quick too.

So I eventually decided I needed to add another title to my portfolio for a bit in hopes of opening more doors… Ahh Grad student.  Fun times!  Just when I thought hotel guests were challenging, I was wrong.  Waaaay wrong.  12+ hour works days, 4+ hours of homework per night, 5+ days per week = 21 + rough months.

But just as quick as it started, it ended.  I was a grad school grad, hooray!  And the blood, sweat and tears invariably did open more doors.  This time it opened the door to an awesome job at UB.  And I’ve officially switched my view on titles….

I traded wearing fancy heels & drooling over famous people for enjoying jeans-day-Friday & wiping up drool for an adorable baby.

I gave up a the corporate world for a chance to make a difference in the community.

And I realized the dream of being a VP might be a nightmare when you are trying to be M-O-M.

Energetic intern ~~ Overworked corporate glam girl ~~ Hungry-for-change grad student

~~ Working Mom! ~~

So, here I am!!  A working Mom!  I made it to the best title in the world.  My boss in the office is great but my little boss snuggled up in her bed upstairs is even more amazing than I could have ever imagined.   It’s been quite the journey but I can’t remember a time when I’ve loved my title as much as I do now!