Share what’s good with Welch’s

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Welch’s. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

When I was growing up sitting down together for a meal was something that we did every evening. Same time, same place. Together as a family we ate dinner and talked about our days. Today, I still do that with my family because I feel that it’s important to stay connected and have that time set aside to be together in person, especially when there is so much going on in everyone’s lives and we tend to rely on technology to communicate with one another.

I’m not alone in this either. Welch’s feels the same way & have a new campaign called Share Your Moments!

Welch’s believes in the magic of “kitchen table” moments, and has been helping families enjoy them for generations. In the time it takes to drink a glass of juice or share a sandwich, a special moment can happen. That’s why Welch’s just launched a new movement called “Share what’s good™” It’s all about sharing those special moments that occur each day with family, friends and loved ones – whether it’s at home or on the go. At you’ll find a variety of great content from fun family ideas to delicious recipes. You can share photos of your every-day moments and see how others are doing the same.

share whats good

As part of the Share what’s good campaign, Welch’s has launched the “Share Your Moments” photo contest! From 9/16 to 10/25 upload a photo of your favorite family moment for a chance to win $5,000! While there is only one grand prize, everyone who enters will get a $1.50 coupon for Welch’s 100% Grape Juice – or $2.00 if you share the news.

All you need to do is visit to enter! Actually, entering can be as easy as sharing a pic on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #sharewhatsgood.

How does your family connect around mealtime or at various times throughout the day?


Wordful Wednesday – Family Pictures

It was brought to my attention by my kids (I already knew… I did really) that we hadn’t had family pictures taken in several years. Six years to be exact. Now, in my defense we have gotten the kids pictures taken several times over these past six years…. individually and together. I guess getting us into the picture hadn’t crossed my mind.

I planned for fall pictures because there is nothing prettier than pictures with all the leaves changing colors around us and a beautiful blue sky. Well, that didn’t work out and we ended up with late fall pictures. The leaves had mostly fallen and it was really freakin’ cold!

Despite the lack of leaves and warm sun we had an amazing photographer who took some really wonderful pictures and was even able to get the toddler to mostly hold still and smile for her. That alone was worth it.

Of course I had to include the fun ones… because it’s those that really show the kids true personalities. And that picture on the left… well, that one is really Natalie.

Caitlin is fun, beautiful, and scary intelligent. Right? Although, I think that she’s a little afraid of her brother.. especially when he’s chasing her with a big stick.

Here are the littles. Well… not so little anymore. But they’re pretty damn cute aren’t they?

I saved the best for last… the family picture. I have a few of these that I considered sharing but why share that perfect picture that took forever? Why not share one of the pictures that embodies who we are… who we really are.

Not a single one of us is paying attention to the camera and I have no clue what in the world I was thinking, doing, or saying. I just have a crazy look on my face…

How did your family pictures turn out?

If you live in Michigan and are looking for a great photographer for anything… family, kids, seniors, weddings, and even boudoir pics then give Amy from Darkroom Diva’s a call. I can’t say enough about her photography skills! I didn’t get anything for sharing her info here… I just love her work.

Linking up with Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies for Wordful Wednesday!

I see the boy

He’s growing up so quickly that I don’t know how the time has passed by me so quickly again (yes again… time flew by with the girls too). Where did my cuddly little baby go that was here yesterday and where did this little boy come from today?

eating his toes

I know that he’s growing up, learning new things, and changing every day but it wasn’t until the evening we were at the school for young readers group that it truly dawned on me. I sat there and watched him play with the other children, even the ones who were much older than him. He seemed to fit right in with the kids as they all ran around and played together…. even when they started rough housing. I’ll be honest… at first I was scared that he would get hurt but it became clear that he was all boy and that there was nothing to be worried about.


It was then that I fully realized that I’m a mom of a boy and that I don’t know what to do! I’ve spent the last 16 years as a mom to girls. There is such a huge difference in the way that boys and girls play… the things they do…. the things they like to play with. And here’s a confession… I don’t like playing outside and getting dirty. Not at all and it’s already evident that he loves playing outside and getting dirty doesn’t seem to bother him one bit. It looks like I’ll be stepping outside of my comfort zone this summer and learning to be the mom of a little boy.

outside fun

It’s left me wondering what the future will bring and will I be able to live up to being the mom of a little boy. What I do know is that there is no need to worry about him having all sisters & no boys to play with because being a boy is totally ingrained no matter what we seem to do.

little man

I see the boy that he is becoming so quickly. So happy, carefree, and willing to jump off of anything he can climb on to. I see a wonderful little boy who simply adores his sister, his grandparents, and most importantly….. tractors.

Listable Life ~ 5 Moments

5 moments that I would live over again… Only 5?!?!? There are so many moments that I would live over agan in my life simply because they’re some of the best times in my life and other times I would live them over just so I could do something a little different but not change it completely since those moments are ones that have led me to where I am today.

So my 5 moments…and these are in no particular order.

  • The birth of my oldest daughter, Caitlin. I was so young when I had her, a mere 23 years old. I had no clue what I was doing or how much my life would change when they handed me the most beautiful baby ever. That moment was one I will never forget…. so such a sweet face. So round, soft, and perfect in every way. Pure love and adoration overwhelmed me as I held her and it was like there was no one else in that room but the two of us.


  • The birth of my second daughter, Natalie. When you’re pregnant you’re always worried about your water breaking and how will you know if it happens. Well, with her I found out rather easily. While chatting on the phone with my mother in law I suddenly felt a gush of warm water that just didn’t stop. There was no denying what it was and within 3 hours I had given birth to another perfect little girl. No drugs, no IV yet, and I wasn’t even checked into the hospital at the time. It was probably the fastest and easiest birth in the world!


  • The birth of my third daughter, Lauren. Lauren was born with a full head of dark hair… so much that we could pull it into a little barrette. She was a beautiful chubby little girl with dark hair and the brightest blue eyes you’ve ever seen and was loved & admired by all who saw her.


  • The birth of my one and only son, Andrew. The moment I found out that I was pregnant the constant worry and concern started and barely let up until the day that I gave birth to him. Most of us worry while pregnant but after suffering two miscarriages before him every worry was intensified by ten fold. As soon as they handed me that little boy  every fear left my body and was replaced with love.


  • Ahh… last but not least. As you probably all know or have figured out at some point or another I was married and went through a divorce and am now remarried. My last memorable moment is the day that my husband proposed to me. There was a little cafe next to where we worked and he had talked to the owner and had it all set up with dim lights, red rose petals scattered across the entry way, signs on the walls, and then a huge bouquet of red roses on a table where he stood waiting for me. Down on one knee with close friends in attendance he asked me to marry him. It was so romantic and a moment in my life that I will never forget.


What are a couple moments in your life that you would live over again?

I’m linking up with Nicole from Moments that Define Life for her weekly meme Listable Life.

And because this is full of words and awesome pictures I am also linking up with Seven Clown Circus and By Word of Mouth Musings for Wordful Wednesday!

What’s in a name

When I was pregnant with Andrew my husband and I (and the girls too) went back & forth so many times that I wasn’t sure if we would ever pick a name for him. We just couldn’t decide what to name the baby or I should say that we couldn’t agree on a name.

Before we knew what we were having we had a huge list of boy names and a smaller list of girl names and had to go through a process of elimination which… was very difficult! I seriously thought that once we had the baby that we would never be able to leave the hospital because we just couldn’t agree on a name or worse yet the nurse would have to name the baby. Scary thought, right?

Once we knew what we were having our list was narrowed down a bit. A boy. We were having a boy.

We made it through my entire pregnancy without a name or almost all the way through it. Then one day while at the circus, a mere 2 weeks before he was born,  a decision was made! Yes, you did read that right…. at the circus. No, we weren’t going to name the baby after one of the clowns or anything like that.

At the circus

My husband wanted to name him after himself…. a jr. and I wanted to name him Grayson and we just couldn’t find a happy middle ground. But it was my husbands grandmother who helped us out that day. She suggested that we name him Andrew… after her father. It was such an easy decision at that point! We finally had a name…. Andrew Noel. Andrew from my husbands side and Noel from mine.


Not Andy. Not Drew. Just Andrew. At least for now it’s just Andrew… maybe in time it will get shortened.

Did you have trouble picking a name for your baby? How did you & your spouse come to an agreement for a baby name?


This is a featured post written by me on behalf of Bounty. The opinions and story of naming my son are all mine.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Fall Fun Revisited

family shot

Fall is my favorite time of year and one of the things that we do together as a family is go to Crossroads Village a couple of times during the year. At Halloween they decorate the entire village and have trick or treating for young and old alike…. dressed up or not! This year it happened to be over 80 degrees that day so the costumes we had picked out just weren’t going to work! We improvised though!


The maze was fun for the kids even if you could see over the top of the walls! Although I’m not sure what’s up with that look she was giving me.


As you can see she was excited for lunch!


I’m hoping that she doesn’t visit my blog all that often or else she is going to be pissed at me for posting this picture for the world to see. Although… better here than Facebook, right? And she refused to smile nice anyway.


He had so much fun running through the maze over… and over… and over again. If there wasn’t a way out I bet that we could have left him there for the rest of the afternoon to play!

Huckleberry Railroad

Of course the highlight of the trip is riding the old steam locomotive! This train is an original that has been fully restored and is run several times a day taking riders for a 40 minute journey through Crossroads Village, past Mott Lake and by the county fairgrounds. The entire ride is narrated and complete with music as well as decorations along the way for the holiday and well worth the trip to Crossroads!

Okay…. so  much for wordless, huh? Good thing that I’m linking up with Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies for WordFUL Wednesday!

parenting BY dummies

My Grandma

Her family came over from Scotland and settled in the thumb region of Michigan and lived there for more years that I can remember.

She lived a life that was long and full and she loved every minute of it.

Parents, siblings, husband, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were all part of her life on a daily basis. Year in and year out she was surrounded by family.

Full of life, love, and the joy of travel. It wasn’t uncommon for her to take off on a whim without letting anyone know…. then again she would also check herself into the hospital if she didn’t feel well without telling anyone too.

My memories of her are dear to me and I hold them close to my heart, pulling them out like pictures and flipping through them from time to time. Remembering the times we spent together are special to me…. but few. Fewer than I would hope for, but more than others I suppose.

There were things she missed that I had always hoped she would see, but her heart was tired. It was her time.

She is loved and missed dearly by all.

My grandma

Daughter. Wife. Sister. Mother. Grandmother. Great Grandmother.

She watches us and all we do.

She smiles with us and cries with us.

She loved and was loved in return.

She is at peace now.


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

The year in pictures

While going through my reader the other day (Yes, I do go through it on occasion) I happened upon a post from Ashley from My Front Porch Swing and then the same one from Jessica over at Four Plus an Angel and decided to play along! I mean 12 pictures or my favorite posts from the year… how much easier can it get?


January brought Andrew’s first birthday! It seems so long ago but it was only a year…. and what a difference a year makes.


February brings Valentine’s Day… need I say  more?


March and my little girl turned 9 and brought Flat Lauren to the party!


April at my parents house for Easter and the girls were on a scavenger hunt that their grandma puts together every year for them.


May! And my first ever blogging conference! I made the trip…. all2 hrous of it to Holland Michigan for Gleek Retreat where I met some incredible women all from Michigan! That’s me along with Elena from Mommy’s in Timeout and Katie from Sluiter Nation!


In June all three of my girls took part in one of the parades that take place every year during the Curwood Festival. I was a proud mama watching all of them march!


The heat of July is only intensified by sitting by the ball field while you watch your kids play for what seems like hours on end.


August brought another conference for me and this time it was Bloggy Bootcamp. If you ever have a chance to go to one of these GO! Seriously it was incredible! Here I am with so great friends from Michigan! Dutch Being Me, Mommy is in Time Out, Daily Dribbles, and Buried with Children.


First day of school for September of course.


October was warm… on occasion and the day we carved pumpkins the kids all made their way outside and spent the afternoon playing together and carving pumpkins.


Every year in November the high school marching band puts on one final performance of the marching season indoors. Yes, indoors! Where it’s warm & we can enjoy it. It is truly one of the best events during the year.


And that brings us to December. And with it being the holidays and all I bet you’re tired of seeing all those happy holiday type pictures so instead of that I’ve decided to grace you with the Pimp of Greek Town. Now, I have no idea what his name is or if he really is a pimp but I HAD to take a picture of this. We took a trip to Detroit for my daughter’s 16th birthday and I have to say that this was probably the highlight of the day!

So there you have it folks…12 pictures from the past year. I do have to say that I loved going through all the pictures from the year and seeing how the kids have changed and grown, the places we’ve been, and all the fun we had. Picking just one picture for each month was hard because I wanted to share so much more with you all.

How was your year? Have you had time to sit and look back at all your pictures yet?

On being a mom

Before I was a mom there were very few things that I worried about. I was young, carefree, and was enjoying my life from one minute to the next without pondering the future too much. I wandered the mall with friends, shopped, and ate lunch where ever we wanted while evenings were spent bar hopping or at the movies. Summers at the beach and winters hitting the slopes.

As a mom my life changed considerably. Carefree wasn’t part of who I was anymore and the way I thought, acted, and who I was as a whole changed.

There were feelings that would wash over me like no other and they still do. As a mom you are full of joy, love, fear, worry, concern, happiness, and your head will spin in circles as each day passes. It’s a roller coaster ride and one that I never thought that I would be on and one that I am enjoying every minute of.


My days and nights are filled with my children, the little loves of my life.

There are times though that I find myself day dreaming of free time. Time to do whatever I want and whenever I would like to do it and I can’t imagine that I am the only mom that has ever felt that way. But I find a few stolen moments here and there to call my own where I can simple be me again. A few moments to center myself and start again as mom.


I find myself hoping that I’ve done all that I can to show my children how much I love them. I hope that I have taught them well. I hope that I’ve been a good mom. I have so many hopes & dreams for them …. as well as fears, which I think is all part of being a mom.

Being a mom can be the most challenging job out there without a doubt, but it can also be the most rewarding thing that you ever do. I promise!


There are days I wonder if I have even done anything right…. between the fighting, back talking, and the spitting toddler  I find myself wondering where in the world I went wrong. I wonder if I’m cut out for this job of being mom sometimes.


Then it’s the  simple things can brighten a moms day and make her heart swell with joy…. a smile from their baby, laughter from a toddler, an achievement at school, and just about everything in between. From an infant all the way through teenage years there is always something that my children can do or say that makes me smile everyday. It’s the little joys that get me through to the next day.

Without children I don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing. Honestly, it’s something that I haven’t even considered!

Is being a mom everything you thought it would be?

Andrew, Santa, and I

Every year we pass by the center of the mall where Santa has set up shop and is surrounded by a magical winter wonderland. I watch the families as they wait patiently or not so patiently for their turn to talk with Santa so they can explain those bad moments, elaborate on the good, and tell him everything they want on the never ending list. I look at them with fond memories of doing the same thing with my girls when they were younger, but now they’re older and don’t fully believe in Santa.

As luck would have Andrew believes in Santa! He recognizes the big man and will look at me with his head titled slightly and says, “anta?” Other times he smiles and says, “ho, ho, ho”. It’s all beyond cute!

We braved the mall to have our turn with Santa. But this time I planned ahead! I didn’t want to stand in that line, weaving in and out of the ropes that help form the line, for an hour or more with a 2 year old who can’t sit still. We left early and got to the mall just before the stores opened and Santa had just arrived. We were first in line and there was nobody after us.

We had plenty of time to make our way carefully up to Santa. Andrew was enthralled with the animated deer and fake snow that surrounded Santa’s chair and had to check it all out. Finally, I was able to get him closer and he stopped, pointed and said, “anta.” He refused to get any closer to the big man. This was my fear…. I really was hoping that we’d get a good picture… but he wanted nothing to do with him.

Eventually we made it to Santa but it was only because I had to pick him up and walk over there. Andrew was glued to me and his little arms weren’t letting go for nothing. Nope, the cute Santa picture wasn’t happening.

Thankfully the photographer was great and we got a picture!

andrew, santa, & I

Yes, that’s me in the picture. It was the only way that we could get Andrew close to Santa. Better than nothing right?

Good thing I got ready that morning!

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