the best part of today was when

Parker said, “Mommy! I had to sit in the time-out chair at school today!”


“Happy Valentine’s Day!” followed by lots of giggles!


“OH! You mean APRIL FOOLS!”

Totally cracked me up! That kid is hysterical!

Worst part of today?

When Gray, who had been cuddling with Daddy in our bed, threw up RED puke all over our new white sheets! All he ate today practically was strawberries and I just saw them, well, everywhere.

REALLY hoping it’s still a reaction from the meds+surgery and NOT a stomach bug hitting our house!

funniest part of today.

This morning Gray had his adenoids taken out and new tubes put in his ears. It went quick and he did awesome! Three hours after surgery and two hours after we got home he was running around like a wild man. So a big answer to prayer that he’s fine and here’s to hoping he’ll actually feel better from now on!

Chris stayed home most of the day to help me and go to the hospital with me. Which meant he was home for lunch and when my package from Better Life got here. Of course he thought I lost my mind b/c who orders cleaning supplies online and who spends that much money on cleaning supplies, so I was explaining why making the house toxin free is so important. I said what hit me is that we lock up the cleaners because they’re so toxic but then spray them all over the house! Crazy.

And that’s when he said the funniest thing ever.

“Jod, seriously? You’re worried about the kids being around chemicals after Parker had nicotine in her ear?”


Second best part of the day? When he said he thinks I’m crazy but will get on board with anything to make the kids feel better.

The first made me laugh hysterically and the second made me love him so much!

one of the main reasons I survive soccer season.


(down by the banks of the hankie pankie where the bull frogs jump from bank to bank…)

Are my kids eating CRAP food here? Yes. The first time in a LONG time. After a crap day when I ran out of time and energy.

I love spending soccer season with the MacBrydes! Can’t wait for it to get warmer so we can have more afternoons like this!

52 Smiles | #4

Last Friday was BY FAR my favorite in our 52 Smiles project so far and it all happened because Adriane and I answered Katherine’s March challenge!

First, we held a sorry excuse for a book drive. Most of it was my fault because 1. I only mentioned it once online and although had intentions to get the girls involved by having them ask their friends I forgot 2. I was so consumed with the Mohr Mini Sessions I didn’t even get a chance to get back to the few people that did offer to donate. So we gathered some books from home and that was about it.

So although I failed at the first part, the kids rocked the second part! We decided to go read with the people that attend Sarah Care, an adult day care facility in Webster. We brought all the adult books we’d collected to leave with them and the children’s books we have will go somewhere else on another day. We had our good friends Kate and Lauren with us so it made the day even more special!

Ahren, our brave boy, started it off! He read SO good and had all the adults cracking up!

Then Bailey had her turn and she made me SO SO proud!

She read loud and clear and didn’t act nervous at all!

I love her feet that don’t touch the floor and I love Ahren leaning over to see the pages!

They both did such a great job and the adults LOVED hearing them read! (I didn’t take shots of the adults there because I wanted to respect their privacy and didn’t get photo releases, but trust me when i tell you there were about a dozen people sitting in front of these kids smiling and clapping!)

The kids also stood together and sang lots of songs like Twinkle Twinkle, The Wheels on the Bus, etc. The adults LOVED the songs that had motions! So cute. Most of these people seemed to have memory issues or were low-functioning and the director told me as we were leaving that there were some she hadn’t seen smile in weeks! That melted my heart and made me so proud of them for embracing these Grandma’s and Grandpa’s like their own. They spent time with them, chatted with them, sang to them, read to them and colored with them. And they even hugged them as they left.

The woman Parker sat with was awesome. She had no short term memory and asked Parker her name every 10 seconds. Literally. And my sweet Parker answered her. Every 10 seconds. And then the woman would look at me because she couldn’t understand her and I would repeat her name. And she would say that’s lovely. And then ask me my name. And then touch my arm and tell me how talented she is at coloring. Then she’d ask me if we lived in Kirkwood and I’d say yes. And then she’d ask Parker her name and we’d start all over.

This went on for about 10 minutes.

And Parker never got frustrated or lost her patience. It was one of the sweetest moments with her I’ve ever had.

We were there about an hour and I’ve promised myself we will go back at least once a month. The director said next time maybe we could play a game or do puzzles with them. The kids LOVED those ideas! It was such a win-win for all of us! Our kids had a blast being the center of attention and doing things they love (reading, singing and coloring) and the adults got to interact with children. And smile. And cheer. And laugh. It made me realize how important it is to teach our children to love older people. To want to spend time with them, to listen to their stories, to be patient with them and to love them.

If you haven’t started 52 Smiles yet, please start. I can’t begin to tell you how this is changing our lives. This is seriously one of the best things we’ve ever done and I hope that this summer Daddy gets on board too because I think it would be really neat to have both Tim and Chris come along on our adventures!

wednesday night thoughts. in list form.

1. Chris left today for his soccer trip to Tulsa. He gets home Saturday night really late after a day where I’m working for 14+ hours straight. Hate being a single parent even though living at my parent’s does make life a whole lot easier. As I did dinner+bath+books+prayers+bed alone tonight I struggled with resenting him and the fun he’s having.

2. Parker has had an ear ache for a week so I took her to the doc. They’ve told me she has wax in her ear for a long time but it’s always a casual mention, nothing serious. But today we saw a different doc b/c ours was gone and he wanted it flushed out. THANK YOU LORD for Dr. Lackey today! Do you want to know what he flushed out of her ear?

Are you prepared for this?


At least that’s exactly what it looked like as it was about an inch long, perfectly cylindrical and squishy. It did not break apart like wax should have and after multiple nurses inspected it the concensus was a cigarette butt covered in black wax.

OMG I literally gagged as they pulled this thing out of her ear.

Two hours later we were in the car and she said, “my voice is so loud when I talk!” HA!

3. Last summer I posted THIS where I told the world my weight. About a month ago I was down from 186 to 172 so almost 15lbs lost. Doing a whole lot of nothing. Except regulating my hormones after nursing for over a year maybe? Anyway, today I’m 176 and starting to run everyday again. Except today I didn’t because Chris is gone and I feel bad asking my mom to watch the kids just so I can exercise. But what’s so funny to me is that on the Biggest Loser I am most womens goal weight! Weight is so freaking relative it drives me insane. I was about 145-150 at my wedding and I think I’d be totally happy right now around 160. We’ll see if a little arm weights (that I do in the living room) and running and eating a tiny bit better will do anything. We all know soda isn’t gone for a while, not at least until I can stop working so late at night, which sucks b/c if I had any kind of will power I bet 10 of those pounds would melt off going cold turkey off the Dew. Isn’t it sad I’d rather run than stop drinking the nectar of the Gods? Whatever. I’m someone’s goal weight so I can’t look THAT bad can I? Ugh.

4. House hunting is driving me insane. I’m obsessed with watching the streets I’d love to live on for houses for sale, I scour the internet when I should be working all the while knowing I could find our dream house and we’re not quite ready to jump. I need to stop. Like now. And relax. And save money. And pay bills. And watch our credit score climb higher. It’s just hard because I’m dreaming of a summer of DIY projects. Among other things.

5. I’m going to have nightmares tonight about that THING that came out of my kid’s ear today. UGH!

6. I need to find a regular babysitter so I can work more hours during the day. But it’s hard to afford that when I tell myself I could work the same hours late at night for free. And yet I don’t get half as much done at night b/c I’m too tired. It’s a bad cycle!

7. I’m super excited about our 52 Smiles project this week! My BFF Angie is joining us with her girls so between us three moms there will be 10 kids! It’s going to be radical! I’m SO blessed to have Adriane doing this with me and so excited to bring Angie in this week!

8. I was really excited for a fun session with the Beachy family tomorrow and the threat of COLD temps and SNOW canceled our plans. HATE St. Louis sometimes!

9. Started putting together the gift bags we’re handing out to the families participating in the Mohr Mini Sessions on Saturday and I’m so thankful for the people who sent little gifts and/or coupons! I love the connections we’ve made and the friends we have who are willing to help make this event SO awesome. I also love the backdrops we’re working on! SO fun! I also love working with my friend, Missy Lang. Kim and I talked tonight about how much we love thinking of her as a permanent part of our business… whether she does or not! HA!

10. Do you have any idea how mad I am that I didn’t take a photo of the CIGARETTE in PJ’s ear? SO mad b/c you guys would be FREAKING out if you saw how big this thing was and how tiny her ear is. I’m seriously haunted by it!

Time to get my butt moving on some edits tonight and a painting that’s stuck in my head. I don’t paint much. AT ALL. EVER. But I love it and all day I’ve had this idea in my head that I want to get out. Luckily Kim and I had to make a stop at Hobby Lobby so I bought a few brushes, a small canvas and paint to make it happen. Good shows tonight so we’ll see how far I get! Mnt Dew ordered (haven’t done that in a LONG time but feel I deserve it with Daddy gone!) so time to work!

ps… for some reason the comments aren’t being emailed to me anymore which is so annoying but thanks for the tummy issues support! And thanks for saying I look nice Jen, love you! And Gina, his smile and his legs are why I married him! HA!

spring break day 2

A day late posting this but last night I got sucked into “Hereafter” with Matt Damon and just put the computer away!

Yesterday I did 13 loads of laundry. Awesome. In between all of THAT fun we took Gray to the park to play baseball for a little while before lunch+naps. We kept asking if he wanted to play on the playground but all he was interested in was playing ball! If this kid isn’t an athlete one day! He’s obsessed!

Can I say again how easy it is to have one kid? We had a blast playing baseball with our little man!

The afternoon was naps for the men and laundry for me. Then C took Gray to his parents for his Aunt Peggy’s birthday party while I stayed home with tummy issues. I hated missing the party but really felt terrible. I don’t know if “tummy issues” hits any other women but it comes on so fast sometimes it drives me crazy. I have a friend this happens to and we always commiserate with each other because it’s SO annoying!

Anyway, Spring Break Day 2 was quiet and simple and nice. Day 3 coming up since I’m a day behind!

52 Smiles BOOK DRIVE!

Adriane and I are taking Katherine’s challenge (HERE) and taking this week to do a book drive!


We want your used books! Adult books, children’s books, teen books, resource books, novels, Bible’s ANYTHING!

The kid books we want to donate to a hospital or doctor waiting rooms or something…we haven’t solidified the WHERE for these yet but know there are SO many place that could benefit!

The adult books we want to give to Laclede Grove in Webster and an adult day care center also in Webster.

Friday we will be delivering the books and we’re going to encourage the big kids to actually read to the older adults.

This is our 52 Smiles project this week and although we will surely be pulling from our own book collections, we’d love to make a bigger impact so PLEASE help us!

If you are able to donate books this week I can run by to get them or if you’re in the neighborhood please drop them off… email me to let me know what works best!


the run.

I “ran” this year in the St. Patty’s Day Run in downtown St. Louis. It’s a FIVE mile run and well, we walked most of it. Except my friend, Angie, who RAN the whole thing in 50 minutes. Total stud!

Our BEFORE pic and we never got an after, except I did take one of myself! Sharon, Carrie (Bailey’s awesome teacher!), Angie and i!

Yes, I jogged backwards to get this shot! HA!


It was SO much fun and it makes me want to run in other races! And actually RUN next time!

spring break day 1

Our day started at the circus and even though I had my camera you won’t see any proof because they made me take it back to the car before entering the building. AND they made me throw away all the organic snacks I had packed. I’m honestly not sure which made me the most angry! SO frustrating. The circus was fun though and it was neat to have such a big outing with just Gray! I think at least once a year we need to somehow have just one kid for a few days so we can really get to know them, give them one on one time, let them be really spoiled for a bit! I think it’s Bailey’s turn next b/c she’s never had a chance. Parker had 9 days last year in the hospital and even though that’s the suckiest excuse for alone time, we did really get to know her during that week. I’m thinking this summer we’ll do something special with each kid or something.


After the circus the boys napped and I went yarn shopping with my friend Adriane who’s going to make some newborn hats for Fresh Art! SO fun to pick out our own yarn! Then I hit the grocery store because Chris requested BEEF! The allergy child is out of town so he wanted to EAT! HA!

Two HUGE steaks and some veggies+fruit later I was home and starting dinner with the boys.

Seriously, I’ve never had a steak that was so good! Fish is great (for PJ especially) but MAN do we love a good steak!

It’s been since last summer since C has grilled and although the veggies were not so hot, he ROCKED the steaks!

While I was inside cutting fruit and veggies, Gray was outside with Daddy playing on the deck. He had the tweezers from our bug box and was “fixing” the rocks. He’s so damn cute!

Then of course he moved onto soccer. This kid is obsessed with soccer!

Gray’s plate. Steak, pasta, veggies (yellow pepper, asparagus and broccoli) and strawberries.

This is all that’s left! HA! We seriously ate some meat! And we’ll have steak quesadillas for lunch tomorrow with the tiny bit of leftovers!

We ended the night by letting Gray stay up late and watch a movie with us. It totally wasn’t appropriate (Karate Kid with Jaden Smith) but he doesn’t sit for more than five minutes anyway so he played while we watched and it was nice just being together. Can’t wait until tomorrow to have another Bubba-filled day!

me and gray.

The girls are in WI for my niece’s birthday with my parents and so me and Gray (and Daddy) get to have lots of time together. Something I’ve never had before is a two year old alone! When all of my kids turned two they had a sibling and MAN is one two year old easy! One kid is easy period. Sorry to all of you one kid moms that think you have it tough. YOU DON’T. It’s easy! Seriously, we’ve had the best time just hanging out, running errands, cleaning, etc. My little helper!

Yesterday when the girls left with Grandma and PawPaw he was a little more than sad so I needed something to distract him with and quick!

Then Grandma and PawPaw had to come back before they even hit the highway so Miss Bailey could go potty so she got in on the fun…

Then Grandma came in (notice her 3ft long boobs! HA!)…

And PawPaw!


Grayson was laughing so hard at all of these it was hysterical! And I didn’t know you could make videos like this but let’s just say mine won’t see the light of the internet! Frightening! And SO funny!

Happy first day of spring break!!! We’re taking the little man to the CIRCUS! Can’t wait!