Education · Family · Society

Make a difference in someone’s life today



A few months ago I decided that I needed to set an example for my kids of the type of person I want them to be. I want them to be the type of person that helps human beings. I want them to be empathetic, compassionate, and kind. I want them to care about human life, even if they don’t know the person. I want to be that person too.

My first step was to register as a donor of Be The Match

Be The Match matches donors and patients with life-threatening blood cancers. Bone marrow of the donor can save that patient’s life.

So, I sent away for my kit (see picture above). The process is easy. Stab your cheek and stick on the car. Then send it back. That is it

This week I received my donor card in the mail. This means I am officially registered. When a patient needs marrow, they will be screened and matched.

For information on the donation process click here

I have no idea if I will ever be matched. But even if I am not, I want to show my children that I am willing to help those that I do not know. If you are able to do something for someone you should. I would hope for the kindness of strangers if I or one of my kids needed it. I don’t want to wait until we need something to get involved. I want to pay it forward. Compassion and understanding create a better community for our children to grow up in.

For more information or to register as a donor yourself head on over to

Family · Household · Preschool · Toddlerhood

The Reasons Why We Love Celebrating


Have you appreciated a dragon yet?

It’s the end of January now, and many people are still feeling that holiday letdown. The excitement of the end of the year holidays gets us into overdrive. Then January second hits and the breaks are on. My kids felt it too.

Tempest would ask me “what day is today?”

When I answered “Tuesday” I could tell she was disappointed.

That is because what she meant was “what are we celebrating?”

This is when we decided to make celebrating part of our everyday lives, all year long. We have done so, by embracing the craziness, the silliness, and the all-out lavish holidays the internet has to offer.

There is a holiday out there for every day of the year. Some aren’t so suited for kids. My kids don’t get excited about Clean out your computer Day (Feb 12th). and every day for them is Work Naked Day (Feb 1st). But they do find joy in Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day (Feb 3rd).

Here are some of the Holidays we have celebrated lately:

Appreciate A Dragon Day


Bubble Bath Day


National Popcorn Day


How We Make it Special:

Most of these holidays we don’t go over the top with. I might make something special for a meal. National popcorn day we had Popcorn chicken from KFC and White chocolate covered popcorn with sprinkles (Known as Party popcorn in this house).

Here are some of the things I think about when looking at holidays

  • Menu
    • What do I need from the store?
    • What can I make into something fun? (Such as dragon eggs for Dragon Day)
  • Coloring Pages
  • Is there an activity involved? (Like taking a bath for Bubblebath Day)
  • Are we going to go somewhere?
  • Should I buy toys or things from the store?
    • My favorite things for an inexpensive celebration
      • Silly String
      • Glow Sticks
      • Party Hats
      • Hit up the party section, there are a ton of little additions. You’ll spend a dollar, your kids will think you are the coolest

Ready for Your Own Fun?

Click below to get FREE access to our Holiday Calendar and see what is coming up that you can celebrate

Family · Mom Life · Pregnancy

What makes you a good mom?


As many of you know I have been suffering from lots of contractions this pregnancy. So far they are just annoying and not producing labor. But they are very painful and very exhausting. And to try to combat them I have spent a lot of time in bed. Because of this, my girls have been pretty much living off squeezy pouches and easy to grab foods, especially for breakfast.

But today I want to celebrate the little things. It’s easy to feel like a bad mom. I know I have, especially in the last month. It’s easy to pinpoint all the things that we could be doing better and how every misbehavior from our children is our faults. What isn’t so easy is to acknowledge what makes you a good mom. It isn’t easy to remember we are all trying, and the fact that we feel so much guilt and anxiety to be the perfect parent probably means we are fantastic parents.

So, today I would like to celebrate that I got up and made my little girls breakfast, even if it was chocolate chip pancakes and yogurt. I want to celebrate that I vacuumed the floor and my girls got to play “oh no, it’s a monster”. I want to celebrate that I might not be the perfect mom or the mom I want to be, but I am a good mom.

What do you want to celebrate?

Family · Mom Life

Things I Let My Second Child Do That I’d Never Let My First Do

Note from Paige: This post is a guest post written by someone other than me. From Time to time I want to be able to feature other wonderful parents and their stories.

Rachel Bowman headshot.jpg
Rachel Bowman writes at Just Getting Things Done, a website for working moms that want to get their life back on track even if they barely have the energy to make it through the day. She has two little girls, ages 1 and 3, works a day job and spends weekend nap times hanging out in the backyard with her


When you have your first child there’s a lot of uncertainty. What will labor be like? Will I make it through the birth? What kind of parent will I be? Will my baby be big or small? Smart or not-so-smart? Cute or (heaven forbid) ugly?

All these uncertainties will be there to some degree the second time around. But by the time you have your second, you know what parenting is like for you. You will have realized there are some things you can’t control (like your child). Whether your baby will be a girl or boy, what he or she will look like, what kind of personality they will have.

You will have also learned to pick your battles. Once you get to the toddler years with your first, you are well-versed in picking your battles. I think that’s why we treat our second children differently. From the get-go, we let go of those things we can’t control and we already know which battles are not worth it.

I have two girls. My second daughter turned one in mid-April. My first daughter is 3. They are almost exactly two years apart. So we had some experience with the toddler years by the time our youngest was crawling and walking. There are a lot of things I let my second daughter do that I’d never let my first:

Drink the water at a hotel pool.

I don’t mean accidentally swallow a little bit. I mean she was scooping water with her hand and lapping it up like a puppy.

Eat yogurt with a spoon by herself.

Which of course resulted in her smearing it all over her face. I didn’t even get mad about it. I couldn’t because I knew it would happen. Actually, it was pretty funny.

Eat playdough.

Not on purpose. I tell her not to, but I left her alone with it for a minute when I was on the phone with my mom while cooking dinner and watching both girls. Thankfully she did not eat half the container (like I thought at first), just a bite.

Put sidewalk chalk in her mouth.

We tell her not to, and say “No” when she does. But that doesn’t really stop her from doing it. Eventually we have to walk over and take it away.

Walk on the patio pavers without holding her hands.

I still have this fear that she’s going to fall and crack her head open, but I let her walk around in the backyard without clinging to her every second.

Climb the stairs by herself.

We let her climb the stairs by herself as long as we’re right there watching and able to catch her if she did fall. Or at least we think we’d be able to catch her.

Skip brushing teeth.

By this I mean she has never brushed her teeth. I think she gets away with this one because she doesn’t really have any teeth. She only has four. But we added toothbrushing to the bedtime routine as soon as our first was weaned.

Go to daycare as an infant.

We had a nanny for 6 months after I went back to work with our first. When we toured daycares the first time it made me a little sad to see babies just laying on the floor. Our second went to daycare at 3 ½ months.

Leave the house without backups of everything.

The first time we took her to the doctor after she was born we didn’t even bring a diaper with us. We started just stocking them in the car to make sure we had backups.

Eat food off the floor.

What’s the point in trying to stop that? We just admit it’s going to happen.

Pick up teething rings off the ground and put them in her mouth – This one is from my husband. He said we would rinse them off for our oldest. I don’t remember that.

Wander around the house without direct supervision.

We don’t let her go downstairs since, you know, she doesn’t know how to go down stairs. But we pretty much let her wander at will.

Play outside without hovering.

She gets to explore our backyard way more than our older daughter ever did. Yes, this means she falls down sometimes, but it’s in the grass.


I have a feeling we’ll just keep adding to this list the older our girls get. I think it’s just the way things go. Like I said, with your first you figure out which battles are worth it. With your second you don’t waste your breath on things that aren’t worth it.

Our younger daughter is definitely independent, which may be a result of all those things we let her do. I’m not sure yet if that’s good or bad. When she doesn’t get her way she screams and pitches a huge fit. I’m hoping she grows out of that. And who knows, maybe by the time we have our third we’ll really have this parenting thing down?

Family · Household · Mom Life

Back to School Season is Upon Us

Fall is always stressful for families. Most families are getting ready for the dreaded (or if you are a parent, I am told, celebrated) back to school season. I myself have been part of the back to school craziness for quite some time.

Between double majoring for my bachelor’s degree and then continuing on for my master’s, fall has been back to school season for me for most of my adult life. And I love it. I love the pens and notebooks. I love filling out new planners and lists. I love the excitement that surrounds new classes.

But I also know that it is extremely stressful. Moving from the fun of summer, into the business of fall is a drastic change. It’s a new schedule to get used to and a new mindset.

I am lucky that now that I am done with my degree, I am not worrying about all that back to school stuff. I don’t have books to buy or classes to figure out. But it doesn’t mean I’m immune to the stress of the season. Partly this is because I work at a university. So, while I don’t have to worry about this stuff. I am gearing up for our busy semester. And I am seeing all sorts of other students who are freaking out and stressed, which is stressful by itself.

But in my household, there is another reason that fall is stressful. We own a booth at the Michigan Renaissance Festival.While this is an amazing place to work and play, it also means two, many time three of my days are completely filled up with Renaissance Festival work. Its two more full days that are starting off full on my schedule. And it comes right at the back to school craziness.

Of course this year we are also getting ready to move among the already over-scheduled, stressful time of the year. As you can imagine. I feel a little stretched thin.

So everyone, Give me your tips and tricks for staying sane this back to school season. What makes it easier for you?



Family · Household · Toddlerhood

Preparing to Prepare to Move

You may have noticed a little extra silence around here. We’ve been busy around here. As some of you might know, we have been working to sell our house. The thing about selling is that as soon as your house hits the market you think about moving, but you have no idea when that will happen. For us our house has been on the market for almost a year now. With any luck we will be moving very soon. The worst part of this whole experience has been living from month to month. You think that at any time you need to be prepared to move within the month. Throughout this last year we have learned a lot about our family and how we live

1. How much stuff we actually have.

Even after a year of pairing down junk, we still have a house full of stuff. It’s amazing how much that we actually have. Every day I find another thing we don’t need. yet still our basement is half full (which is an improvement from all the way full). We don’t buy hardly anything, yet still our life is run by stuff.

How little stuff we need

When I really started thinking about things we absolutely needed to live, the list is very small.

We of course also have the list of stuff that we could manage to live without short-term, but not if its going to be another year. This sort of categorizing has driven me a little insane. I have been tempted to stick post it notes on everything we own to tell me when and where it is going. So far my house has avoided post-it note collages, but I make no guarantee about in the future.

How much my family lives for schedules

Besides the instant decision to clean house, another side effect of listing your house is that you have to start planning your life around showings. I hate showings. I hate life with showings. The house must be clean and show ready at all times, this leaves little time to do anything else.

But the benefit to this has been my family has found a love of schedules. Because I know I have little time a week we have begun to plan everything. This is also another reason for the silence on this part. With our new schedule, we leave little down time. It means a lot of family time and fun activities, but not so much time to write.

Hopefully this is over soon

We continue to plan for our big move, without a completely clear idea of when that will happen (although we hope it will be soon). In the meantime, I’m enjoying clearing out the clutter, having extra special family time, and getting life simplified and in order.

And if any one has tips on how to move with two little ones, please, please, please share. That will be a whole other ball game.

Family · Mom Life · Toddlerhood

The Helicopter Mom

I would be classified as a helicopter mom. My kids are still very young so maybe this is justified, but I do understand that sometimes I go a little overboard when we are out in the real world. I hear tragic stories that happen to children and think “That could never be my kids” This isn’t because I think I am a better parent than those parents (I’m not), or because I think my children are more well-behaved (they aren’t), It is simple because when we are out in public I have a hand on my children always. And this is everywhere, the grocery store, the park, a secluded field with nothing around, it doesn’t matter. I realize this is ridiculous and that at 3 1/2 and 2 They probably don’t need to hold my hand at the grocery store if they are right next to me.

Yesterday we went to an amazing park with a farm animal barn, playground, and nature center. My children love places like this, but they get easily overwhelmed. I knew this would be the case when we pulled up to the Barn and there was a bus full of kids on a field trip. But we went anyway. We started off the same as always, hand in hand. By the time we got to the goats, Tim and Alice were already ahead of us looking at the ducks. The ducks are one of Tempest’s favorite animals so she was beyond excited when she saw them.

This is when I did the unthinkable. I let go. I told her to go ahead and catch up to Daddy and watched her run to her sister. It may have been less than 50 ft, with my eye on her the whole time, but there was other people around and this was a big step for me.  The rest of the day I remembered to check in with myself. Was I being too overprotective? Could the girls walk on the path without holding my hands? could I trust Alice to walk over the bridge without falling over the edge? I know I can’t protect them from everything. I can’t save them from getting hurt always. They are going to have to experience pain, sadness, and mistakes. For now, I will celebrate one tiny step in allowing them more freedom.