Dear Luke, 

You are the one who made me a mother 6 years ago today. I can say with complete honesty, it is my favorite job and greatest adventure. 

Now, where do I begin with you? 

Luke, you are a very very special child. Of course, all mothers think that about their children…but there is something truly unique about you. There is not a jealous bone in your body. Sure, you rival with your sister as siblings tend to do, but at the end of the day you just want to make her happy. Sometimes you get in trouble for doing something for her, it makes you cry and you’ll say to me: “Mommy, I was just trying to make Eden happy.” You would fall on a sword for her and it makes my mama heart melt. 

You don’t like being the center of attention, but oftentimes you are. You are loud, and hilarious. The imaginary games you come up with amaze me. You and your siblings have a basement full of toys, but you’d rather create a scavenger hunt for your brother and sister or battle it out on a board game. Gosh, do you L O V E board games. 

Speaking of games, sports are your passion. Since this letter is a way to brag on you, son… you’re pretty darn good at them too. You started hockey this year. Your favorite sports are still golf, baseball, hockey and soccer, but if we’re being completely honest there isn’t a sport you don’t enjoy. 

Some mornings you wake up before me and rewatch Alabama football games or the Golf Channel. You love Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar. Matt gave you a high-five once… you like to remind us of this fun fact often. 

Luke, you are smart. You learned to read this year in Kindergarten, and you have mastered math. You are obsessed with math. If I’m being completely honest here, I don’t enjoy math so you are going to need to be patient with me. You like to tell me 43+2 is 45, but also 44+1 is 45 and also 40+5 is 45. It amazes you that so many numbers can have the same solution. Santa brought you an additional and subtraction calculator for Christmas, you take it everywhere with you. 

Luke, you love learning about the human body. You had a hospital stay at Nationwide Children’s earlier this fall for your respiratory issues, and actually really enjoyed your stay. You asked the doctors and nurses 5,938 questions and wanted to absorb every single moment there. You recently hit your hand on the table by accident and said to me: “Mommy, did you know that I just hit my hand and I could see the blue blood in my veins? It’s actually always red, but it looks blue. Did you know the blood is working hard to circulate back to my heart.” My jaw dropped, you want to become a doctor at Children’s Hospital and I don’t doubt you for one second. 

Luke, you are so caring and inclusive of your friends. Your teacher shared a story with me this school year that made me cry. At the end of the day you like to have the class sit in a circle to play “rock, paper, scissors” once you lose you like to pick a friend who is being a good listener. This child is usually one who hasn’t been included in many activities for the day. It’s important to you that everyone is included. You are extremely sensitive to that.

We watched Prancer this holiday season. A simple 80s flick about a girl and Santa’s reindeer. You came over to me and told me you wanted to shut the movie off. I asked why? You told me you didn’t like the way the little girl was disrespecting her father. As I mentioned… extremely sensitive.  

Luke, you love to make people laugh. You adore your sister and brother. You love listening to music and dancing. You love Star Wars and LEGOs. You love the Columbus Blue Jackets. You love learning about geography and historical figures. You love eating at Bibibop and you think the Rusty Bucket is the nicest restaurant in the world.

I can’t believe you are 6, but I also love that you are 6. You are learning and growing and becoming such a wonderful young man. I could sit here and write a complete novel with stories and accomplishments, but I know it would continue to embarrass you. 

Luke, you are the greatest leader and set such a remarkable example for your siblings. You make us so proud. You make us so happy. You made us a mommy & daddy, and for that we are forever grateful. 

Happy 6th Birthday, Luke Myers.

Love, 

Mom

Out of no where, we jumped right into summer! I know a lot of areas are in a premature summer heatwave, and Ohio is no exception. The kids have been living their best lives the last few days in the sprinkler and playing with water hoses…counting down the days until our pool opens.

I am so excited/anxious to see how they are at the swimming pool this summer. This is the first year, they know how to swim… it’s 100% thanks to Goldfish Swim School and their weekly lessons.

I think it’s going to be a FUN summer and I can’t wait for it to begin!

Meanwhile, May is water safety month, but really, I believe all spring and summer months should directly bring attention to water safety. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental-injury death among children ages 1 to 4.  Last May there were 7 drowning deaths in Ohio. 7!

Here are some important tips to keep in mind this summer:

  • Water toys including floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning.
  • Most children who drown are not supervised.
  • Be aware that even the most seasoned swimmers can still encounter trouble. Make sure swimmers don’t overestimate their skills and that they understand the importance of never swimming alone!

Sunshine, sprinklers and swim safety.

Living his best life!

Sunshine, sprinklers and swim safety.

Best life.

Best life still.

Best life still.

Sunshine, sprinklers and swim safety.

Sister did not want to get hit with the water gun anymore.

“You have your hands full.” Five words I hear almost daily. From the post man. From the grocery store cashier. From a passer-by at the park. I always look down at my entourage and say, “Sure do. Full hands. Full heart.”

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, our son was only 8 months old. I was a little embarrassed. “How did THIS happen?” They warned me not to drink the water. But there I was standing in our kitchen, with a baby on my hip and a pee stick in my hand.

There was no Pinterest-y type announcement. No “surprise, honey! We’re going to be blessed with another child.” I legit waved that pee stick in the air and went, “What the hell are we gonna do now?!” We had just put our house on the market, I had accepted a new job in a new state, annnnnd we’re going to have a baby 16 months after our son was born. Brilliant.

When our daughter came into our lives, everything changed. I no longer wanted to work full time. I wanted to take a lesser role or stay home. Partially because I was so in love with my kids, partially because they were a ton of work.

Guys, I’m going to be completely honest with you. I like and I strongly dislike having my 3 kids so close in age. Here are the 10 reasons why:

1. Playing: 

Like: they play so well together. Since the older two are practically Irish twins, they have the same interests and enjoy the same things.

Dislike: because they are practically Irish Twins they fight and cry and whine like cats in heat.

2. Milestones:

Like: they reach milestones at the same time.

Dislike: because they reach said milestones at the same time, I’ve been changing diapers for half a decade.

3. Vacations and trips

Like: They all 3 enjoy the same activities while we’re out of town. So we don’t have one kid going here and another kid staying in.

Dislike: They’re still at an age where travel (especially in the car) is hella hard. I mean REALLY hard.

4. I have an excuse and “me” time

Like: I now have a legitimate reason for canceling plans. Or skipping things. Or going to bed at 8:00. I’m not saying I enjoy canceling plans, in fact, even with 3 small children I rarely do cancel….but when I do, people understand.

Dislike: I don’t have much free time. Scratch that, I don’t have any free time. Sure I get a girl’s night out with my mom to get our nails done or a dinner with friends, but it’s few and far between.

5. Shopping and outings

Like: Weird as it may seem, I actually really enjoy shopping with them because it’s hilarious. They talk about the most random things and I truly believe taking them on these outings helps them with manners, behavior, and socialization with adults beyond mom and dad.

Dislike: One tantrum can ruin an entire afternoon’s plans. 5 trips to the public restroom is enough to send me to the loony bin. Shopping with them is fun, adventurous and stressful at the same time. If I have a glass of wine at 4:00 after an all day outing, do not judge me.

6. School

Like: my older two are only a year apart, so they’ll enjoy preschool, elementary, middle and high school together. My first-born and third child are 3 years apart, so when my oldest is a senior, my youngest will be a freshman…which is kind of cool.

Dislike: fast forward 20 years and we’ll have 3 kids in college at the same time. So long retirement!

7. Their Friends

Like: they may have the same friends in school, or at least siblings of the same friends.

Dislike: sleepovers and drama. I’m already terrified for those awkward middle school years when my oldest’s friends may have a crush on my daughter, or vice verse. Can I just take an extended trip to the beach during middle school?!

8. Sleep schedules

Like: they’re on the same sleep schedules. My older 2 don’t nap, but they go to bed at the same time. My oldest wakes up every morning at 7 on the dot, but he does his own thing in the morning and doesn’t wake anyone up. Which is AWESOME.

Dislike: Buuuuut, it’s taken us 5 years to get here. I haven’t slept in 5 years. On the same subject, I also haven’t gone to the bathroom or showered alone since October. True story.

9. Built-in Best Friends

Like: I didn’t have siblings, so my friends and cousins were the closest things I had to a brother or sister. My kids have each other. Through thick and thin.

Dislike: I’ve been warned they won’t always love each other like they do. I know these moments of being best friends may be fleeting, but I can honestly say for now they love each other with all of their hearts and it literally melts mine.

10. Speaking of My Heart… 

Love: I never in a million years thought my heart could grow at such a rapid rate for these little rug rats. They stress me out, they exhaust me, they stretch my patience to limits I didn’t know existed. And just when I think I can’t possibly take anymore, the sun rises and I find a million new reasons why I love them like I do.

Enough said.

IMG_6317

Bring it on, Summer! Today we finally made it to the local watering hole. No, not that kind. I’m talking about the pool. Believe it or not, for the first time I wasn’t super crazy nervous!

I credit it 100% to Goldfish Swim School. At Luke’s lessons this week I was amazed at how much he’s learned and how far he’s come. The amazing instructors are working on swim safety with the kids in conjunction with National Water Safety Month. The school aims to educate families by calling attention to steps we can all take to prevent accidents from occurring. For Luke, it was practicing swimming, flipping, floating on his back and flipping over again to paddle to the side. He’s not a pro…but he’s learning the concept.

Eden, meanwhile, has graduated out of her introductory class and will soon be on her own (sans mom) for her weekly lessons. Yay, Eden! Especially, yay for mom!

At the pool today, the kids were eager to jump into the deep-ish end without fear. I can’t stress what kind of relief this is for a mom of 3 at the pool this summer with small kids.

Now to get Adam signed up for some lessons. That little shark is a natural born water lover.

luke swim

Luke’s Swim Safety Lesson at Goldfish Swim School

eden swim

Counting down the seconds to jump in the pool

adam pool

Shark Bait

Luke and adam at pool

Adam, Luke & Bubbles!

These days dirty clothes are rewashed 5 times because they were forgotten.
These days make-up is applied at red lights, if make-up is used at all.
These days hair is washed a couple times a week.
These days babies are worn while making hot dinners.
These days are spent cleaning only to be destroyed within 30 minutes.
These days are falling asleep in one bed and waking up in another.
These days emails are answered during midnight feedings.
These days are lonely yet so filled with love.
These days are busy with preschool and play dates and doctors appointments.
These days are slow morning Saturdays and rushing out the door for soccer, swim or dance.
These days are wiping noses, butts, mouths and everything in between.
These days are kissing boo-boos.
These days are scheduling date nights with your spouse weeks in advance.
These days are making 8 trips to the grocery store in one week.
These days are taking temperatures and rocking sick babies to sleep.
These days are disciplining the children and then running in the other room to have a good cry.
These days are toys you didn’t even know existed.
These days are coffee. Lots and lots and lots of coffee
These days are wine. Lots and lots and lots of wine.
These days are being so frustrated one second and laughing hysterically the next.
These days are feeling like a failure for too many reasons to count.
These days are feeling like a champion because your kid finally ate that piece of broccoli or used the potty or scored a soccer goal.
These days are exhausting…so tiring your bones hurt but somehow you find the energy to press on.
These days are making money where you can, whether you pedal something online, work in corporate America, or monogram on the side.
These days are sad when you think about your old life before kids.
These days are happy because you can’t remember your old life before kids.
These days are exciting when you get to sneak away for a weekend away from the kids.
These days are depressing when you find yourself missing them.
These days are long.
These days are short.
These days are fleeting.
These days will one day be missed.
everyone