How We Do Simple Birthdays (and a Beatrix Potter theme)

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(Flowers from our garden and simple homemade raspberry cupcakes for Lucy's first birthday party.) We do simple family birthday parties at our house. Not that we don't make a fuss over our kids! We make a fuss. It's just not an expensive, stressful fuss. It's more of a homemade laid-back fuss. We really can't afford large, extravagant parties and the details of event-planning are not (really … [Read more...]

Santa, Yoda, and the Persistence of Childhood Magic

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(via) Occasionally my beareded husband Daniel drops in with a post. But they don't typically highlight how intensely awesome nerdy he is, so you're in luck with this one! Enjoy. - Haley This isn’t a post about whether you should do Santa or not (disclaimer: we don’t). I want to get that out of the way since this has curiously become a very heated discussion. Instead, I want to critique an … [Read more...]

24 Picture Books for Advent and Christmas

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It's been a couple of years since I wrote about picture books for Advent and Christmas and we have acquired so many more good ones to share with you! This year I'm going to wrap each book with wrapping paper so that the kids can unwrap one each morning of Advent. And we will probably keep using our Story of Christmas Advent Calendar of little storybook ornaments because Benjamin loves it so much … [Read more...]

When Our Good and Holy Plans Fall Through…

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(I'm honored to share this beautiful guest post from my dear friend, Mandi Richards of Messy Wife, Blessed Life. -Haley) I thought I woke up every morning willing to do God’s will.  I made choices that others questioned (like marrying young and starting our family early - both without much money in the bank, giving up grad school for life as a stay-at-home mom) but I did so willingly and with … [Read more...]

Pumpkins, Pink Eye, and Dealing with Disappointment

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(Orc pumpkin suggested by Benjamin, executed by Daniel) Last year Benjamin was 3 and it was the first he'd ever heard of Halloween. Not that we're opposed, it's just that we're lazy we didn't see a need to load him up with candy or tear our hair out making costumes if he was just as happy not knowing. But last year, his toddler sleuthiness sniffed it out and he talked about nothing else. So, we … [Read more...]

To Lucy, on her Second Birthday

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Oh, Lucy, Lucy, my Lucy, Nothing could have prepared me for how much I love you. From the moment I realized I was pregnant, I loved you more than I’d ever loved anything. I don’t mean I loved your brother less, I mean that my heart expanded in that moment and has never been the same. I loved you so when you turned one, but I know that I will love two even more. None of my pregnancies have been … [Read more...]

To the Bookish Mother of Littles

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You knew having a baby would change things. Nights out on the town would be few and far between. You wouldn’t sleep much during those newborn weeks. But if you’re like me, you weren’t expecting your bookworm tendencies to be so thwarted. Maybe you were an English major in college. Maybe you studied literature in grad school. Maybe you’ve just always been a bibliophile. But now you find yourself … [Read more...]

Nosepickers, St. Peter, and the Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

Some thoughts from Daniel... After Haley’s “Kids in Mass” post was featured on Catholic Exchange, a few colorful commenters descended to share their opinions. Some were less than charitable. Maybe they mistakenly thought we let our children roam the aisles and regularly scream bloody murder through the homily. But most people were supportive. One positive comment that stood out to me was a … [Read more...]

A Day in the Life (With Three Kids Under Five)

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So I realized that the last Day in the Life post I shared was over a year ago, so I thought it was time for another one: with a 4-year-old, an almost 2-year-old, and a baby. The day I decided to do it ended up being pretty typical for days we spend at home (about half of the time we go on outings and half of the time we chill at home.) Although, there weren't as many meltdowns from Benjamin as … [Read more...]

Six Reasons to NOT Send Your Son to College

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Sure, college isn't for everyone. And as a woman who quit grad school to stay home and have more kids, I completely understand that some women would want to opt out. But, when I read this post, 6 Reasons to NOT Send Your Daughter to College, well, there's simply not time to go into all of the logical fallacies at play there. (And just to be clear, although the author of the post is Catholic, the … [Read more...]