Friday, December 21, 2012

Tis the Season

Scenes from a holiday.

Trying to get the perfect photo.

Oh happy sight!  No homework!

 The voices of angels.

What I want my children to always, always remember.

This was the first year I let the kids decorate the Christmas tree with me.  This is a victory on all accounts as they did a great job, and I learned to let go.

Christmases through the years.

Oh, the anticipation!  Will is trying desperately to be cool.

Gift success!

And a little Christmas cheer.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Still reeling from the horrific events on Friday, I sat down at my computer several times yesterday to write, but found no words.  

I have a 6-year-old.  He has chubby cheeks and is the age where he marvels at every new thing he learns.  And I can't imagine life without him.  Or his brother and sister.

Today, as I was struggling with Will over what to wear to his performance later today (he wants a white tee shirt; I want something a little more festive; festive is not something an 11 year-old boy wants to hear.  Or wear.) I became totally exasperated and exhausted by the 'round and 'round conversation/battle of wills we were having.  And then I realized...


I'm thrilled to be having this confrontation this morning.  Elated, even!

Because I know there are 20 sets of heartbroken parents who would give absolutely anything to be doing so.

In a total turnaround, I grabbed him and hugged him and sent him on his way with my blessing.  And a slightly wrinkled, too short in the arms tee shirt.

He smiled.  Not the smile of a victor, but a smile that said "thanks, mom."

Perhaps he thought he'd won, and he'd be right.  He did.

But so did I.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

How's Your Week Been?

My husband is on a business trip, and he made the mistake of asking, so I told him.

"Why, yes.  That is the pile of dirty laundry.  It is taller than the kids.  The part for the washing machine arrived and can you fix it, like, as soon as you get home?  Clearly,we are desperate around here.  Everyone is starting to complain.  At least they all have enough underwear to go for about a month.  Or they’re supposed to.  Will can never find any of his.  Don’t ask.   

The door to the laundry chute can't even close.
Will wore shorts today to school.  It was 27 degrees this morning and there was frost on the car.  He tried to sneak out with shorts and a short sleeve tee shirt.  I give up.  I don’t even have it in me to fight anymore.  The thing is, the other boys at the bus stop think he’s lucky, not an idiot.  Which just illustrates the convolutedness of 11-year-old boy logic.  

Speaking of Will, he ate a 12-piece chicken nugget meal from Chick Fil A before swim practice last night because I was trying to cram some dinner into everyone between karate and swimming, and got a cramp that lasted the entire practice.  Whoops.

Why do we have so much Christmas stuff?  I got it out of the attic to start decorating, but now the hallway is crammed with it and I can’t even begin to find our Elf on the Shelf.  I think he might be stashed in our bathroom somewhere?  I may or may not have seen him lurking amongst the painkillers and muscle relaxers and creams and linens…and I think I might like to join him.  

Tate desperately wants to find your old Elf on the Shelf so he can play with it.  That thing is creepy with a k.  It’s going to give him nightmares.  He already insists there’s a ghost living in the attic that walks around at night.  I told him maybe it was that elf we were looking for, that maybe he was hiding up there and spying on us all as we slept.  It probably wasn't my best idea.  His eyes got really big and he got really quiet.  And now he’s probably going to have nightmares, FOR REAL, but I couldn’t resist.

Tate also has made it his mission since yesterday afternoon to scare me at every opportunity.  The thing is, he’s pretty good at it.  I think it’s because he yells in such a demented high-pitched squeal.  It’s freaky.   He is tickled to death every time. Will is, quite frankly, confounded by Tate’s success in this endeavor.  Of course, that kid is about as subtle as an elephant.

Meems still thinks anything added to 0 is 0.  Also, if you subtract 0 from a number, the answer is 0.  Sigh.  Unfortunately, this will probably reverse itself when we get to multiplication and she’s actually right.  However, she doesn’t neglect to fight me on it every. stinking. time.  And she’ll fight me then, too.

In other news, she was honored in front of the school yesterday when she won a most-deserved award for Compassion.  Of course, our day ended with her melting down screaming “WHATEVER, FINE, WHATEVER, ARRRRGHHH” at me while she tried to slam the bathroom door that was stuck on a towel so it kept bouncing back open.  What didn't help?  Me laughing.  Compassion fail.  I think she was hungry. Girl needs some protein.

Super proud.
Tate slept in my bed last night and in the middle of the night, he threw his arm around me and giggles “Come here, you!  Let’s snuggle.”  Which is kind of weird, maybe??  It might be time for me to tone it down a little.  

Wow, look at how filthy that glass is.

And this.  I swear I kept feeling like someone was watching me the other night.  Reminds me of Batman in the Nativity, which Tate mentioned the other day.  Then he pressed his fingers together and gave me a crazy face followed by "mwah ha ha."  

That’s all.  Have a good meeting.  Oh, BTW, that jeep thingy IS $2650.  Love you."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Every. Single. Morning.

There is an inordinate amount of senseless noise when the kids wake up.
every. single. morning.

Kids are told to keep it down.
every. single. morning.

There is a fight over a particular chair in the kitchen.  
every. single. morning.

There is a mess with cereal, despite their protestations that they are being neat.  
every. single. morning.

They try to pour their milk down the drain, and get caught doing so.  Then whine when they have to finish it anyway.  Yet they insist on a cup of milk.  
every. single. morning.

Someone breathes morning breath on someone else until there is screaming.  
every. single. morning.

Someone doesn’t know what to wear.  But knows what he/she doesn’t want to wear.  
every. single. morning.

No, you can’t wear the same shirt you slept in.  
every. single. morning. 

Someone forgets to brush their teeth, then stomps up the stairs to do so once they are reminded/caught.
every. single. morning.

Someone forgets to brush his hair. 
every. single. morning.

I squeeze toothpaste back into the tube.  
every. single. morning.

All these things are translated by the kids as parents yelling. 
every. single. morning.

You think you’d learn -- "The Conversation." 
every. single. morning.

Someone stinks/clogs/monopolizes the shared bathroom to the chorus of much voice raising by their siblings and parents.  
every. single. morning.

Tate spends more time dancing to his Tooth Tunes brush than actually brushing his teeth and has to be told to settle down.  
every. single. morning.

I remind at least one child to wear a coat.  
every. single. morning.

Somehow we make it out the door on time.  
every. single. morning.

I walk them to the bus to see them off to school, then wave to the bus as it departs. 
every. single. morning.

I give a good morning kiss and snuggle to each child, whether they want one or not.  
every. single. morning.

And the routine starts all over again.  
every. single. morning.

And I am blessed and thankful for it all.
every. single. morning.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans' Day

Today I am thankful for the veterans and soldiers who so bravely put their life ahead of mine each and every day.  

Today, I am thankful for the brave veterans in my life.

My Dad

My Brother

My Uncle Butch

And cousin Michael Johnson (sadly, I do not have a photo of him).

Here's a little girl who loves to sing patriotic songs.
A (hopefully) little smile for the veterans in my life, and maybe veterans everywhere.

Thank you for your service to your country.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

6-Year-Olds Know What Makes a Good President

The other day, I called upstairs to the playroom to see what Tate was doing.

Although I love the fact that my children are old enough to play on their own, sometimes the quiet makes me...nervous.  When this happens, I either start hollering names until someone answers me and then make them each report on what they are doin, or, I quietly find them and peek in on them.  I prefer to just stand in the doorway silently until they notice me with a startle.  Gotta leave them guessing, but knowing that you are always hovering around somewhere checking.  It might make me sound crazy, but the way I see it, the days of not being able to look away for just one second are not over – the things they can get into are just scarier.

Obviously, I do let them have the freedom to play independently.  I just like to monitor.  It is, unapologetically, who I am.

Back to Tate.  He was in the playroom.  I called up to see what he was up to.  Remember, this is the kid who quietly sliced his finger a couple weeks ago, then tried to doctor himself up, then tried to mop up the bloody bathroom.  All in a matter of 15 minutes or less.

“I’m trying to put underwear on this guy.”

Words you don’t really expect to hear.  This is a new one, even for him.

Upstairs, I see he has stripped Construction Man down to his birthday suit.  {Construction Man is like a “Ken” doll, but duded up in work clothes with a massive tool belt.  I believe he was given to my husband as a joke when he had some troubles with a construction project, and he made his way into our toybox, only to be unearthed many years later by Tate, who has a knack for finding completely random stuff.}  Tate has fashioned underpants out of blue tissues and is trying to staple it all together.  He looks up at my face, and based on my expression, immediately asks “what?”  I mean, what’s so weird about making underwear for your boy Barbie?  Dude needs some skivvies.  Construction Man apparently prefers going commando +  there is a girl in the house = Inappropriateness.

“Can you help me?”  I swear, that kid has the sweetest little voice and face.  And I am putty in his hands.

“Sure.”  And so I get to work. But it’s diifficult getting the bottom part of the stapler down the pants to get the stapler to work and still get a nice fit on the underwear.  So we noodle it around a bit, add some tape (Tate’s favorite binding tool) and, voila!  Construction Man is now Diaper Man.  But, I have to sadly explain to Tate CM’s pants are going to rip the tissue.

“That’s OK.  He doesn’t need pants.”


I go back downstairs to endless election coverage where the networks are prematurely calling elections in a bid to be the first, and changing out my purse.  Momentarily, he appears, and now Diaper Man also has a blue tissue cape stapled around his waist.

He is the first super human super hero Presidential Candidate.  He will help people.  He will not be mean.  He is smart.  He has big muscles to fight the bad guys.  He doesn't brag.  And he’s always honest.  He has perseverance, integrity, compassion, a commitment to quality, and will be a good collaborator.  {These last five are the character traits taught to my children by their school in an impressive character development program it has in place.}

And it occurs to me – isn’t it remarkable how children so innately understand what it takes to make a good leader?  It’s simple really:  be good, be true, be honest, be kind, be generous, be humble, be accountable, be brave.  If you have big muscles, even better.  When, in our journey into adulthood, do we lose that ideal?  Should we have to?

Diaper Man for President 2016?  Yes, he was created by a 6-year-old.  Yes, he wears only blue underpants.  But somehow, I feel certain we could use a candidate like him.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Monday, and Happy Birthday

Today, I am happy for this guy.

Today is his 11th birthday, and later we'll open presents, but really, I'm the one who gets the best gift every year.  

After years of struggle, he gave me the gift of motherhood.

I could not be more grateful for him.  He has changed my life in so many wonderful ways.

He is an amazing child.  Strong, independent, silly, smart, fearless, trustworthy, energetic, funny, sensitive and quick witted.  

A good friend.  A good brother.

A good kid.

He has given us an eventful week.  Last Monday, he was admitted to the hospital with blood poisoning.  Which is no joke.  
An "impressive" streak.

IV's are no fun.  Look at his little jammies.  They say "tired little tiger."  We had a good laugh over those!

Happy to be going home in time for trick or treat.

This Monday, we're happy to be home and that he's still with us to celebrate.  It could have been much, much different.  

I'm happy for energetic friends who made his birthday extra special with a sleepover.  I am also grateful for good weather, as they were outside playing football by 8:00am yesterday morning.
All that energy is much, MUCH better spent outdoors.

Happy happy birthday to my most wonderful Will Man.  Although I miss the days when you were happiest to nap in my arms, I welcome and embrace the kid you've become, and the man you're growing up to be.  You make me laugh every day.  You make me smile constantly.  You have introduced me to a world I never knew and have given me the wonderful gift of a mom's bond with her son.  You're so easy, and always have been, that sometimes I worry I take you for granted, especially when I'm struggling with whatever crises your siblings or life in general might present.
I don't.  It's those moments that make me appreciate your quiet strength and sensitivity even more.  

Your dad and I are so blessed.

Love you baby boy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Monday

Happy Monday!  We're waiting out the storm, school is closed, and my 10-year-old has decided to drive everyone crazy with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."  How that got out there this morning I have no idea, but he has found it to be an effective tool in his evil plan to drive his siblings insane.  Well played, grasshopper.  Well played.

It might be a long day.  

Today, I am happy that we are safe (for now and hopefully for good) and that we are all together.  

Today I am also happy for girls' weekends spent visiting grandpa.  Little Meems and I packed up the dog and the family truckster and headed to Staunton this weekend to visit my dad, who was playing bachelor because my mom was out of town.  This is a man who had just spent two weeks abroad, and I'm sure had a boat load of things he needed to get done, but he put them all on hold for his daughter and granddaughter.  He even got roped into doing a fundraiser "fun run" for CASA with us on Saturday morning.  But I think he had fun.  I do know his daughter enjoyed it.  His granddaughter, well, she beamed from ear to ear.  Little girl is lucky to have 4 wonderful grandparents.  And, little girl stumbled upon something she loved - running - as she managed to totally dust us.  

Happy for happy memories!

Little Meems was thrilled she and Pop Pop had matching shoes!

My inspiration.

Super runner...

...super girl.

Friday, October 26, 2012


It has happened.  My son has overtaken me in size.  Just shoe size for now, but if the length of his shorts is any indication, it won’t be long until the size swap is complete.

I recently bought some Converse All-Star gray low-rise sneakers.  When I brought them home I laid them on the kitchen table.  A little while later, my son appears, wearing the shoes, thanking me.

“I really like these.  I never thought about gray, but it’s kinda’ cool!”

As I love the little guy too much, I actually considered going along with it and pretending they were a surprise gift for him.  Alas, I really wanted those things, and had finally bitten the bullet and bought them.

I explained that actually, they were for me.  Luckily, he wasn’t too upset.  But I knew he liked them (let’s be clear, the kid likes shoes.  period.).

“Maybe we can share them!  They’ll be yours, but maybe I can borrow them sometimes.”

Um.  No, little guy.  Boys don’t share clothes with their moms.  Luckily, I could tell he thought it sounded a little awkward as soon as he said it.  Also, I’ve seen your shoes, and I’ve smelled your feet and I wash your socks.  Your laces are frayed and somehow you’ve lost all the insoles, and then there’s this.
These are black suede shoes.  That were put away wet and developed a white, furry fungus that he thought was frost.  In May.


“Well, I’m sure you’d rather pick out something for yourself, so let’s do that, OK?”

Never one to turn down the promise of new shoes, he agreed.

I am reminded of recent conversations at the bus stop concerning sneaker balls and Gold Bond powder and newspaper remedies for foot odor.  And of sleeping in clothes and trying to get out the house wearing those clothes ("But Mom, I took a shower last night -- they're CLEAN.")  And of wearing socks over and over before washing because they like them so much.  Darn you Nike Elites for being so darn expensive and making me do laundry more than once a week!

Share shoes?  God bless your little baby heart you sweet, sweet naive boy.  I will share most anything with you.  I will go to the ends of the earth for you.  But share your shoes??

You must be out of your mind.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dear Child

Dear Child,

Mommy and Daddy make rules for a reason.  We like to try to give you privileges, but privileges come with a price, and that price is responsibility.  The rules are to teach you to be responsible and keep you safe.

Remember the rule about the electric scooter?  What happened when you disobeyed?  Three weeks in a full arm cast with a broken elbow isn’t much fun is it?

You seem to need to learn lessons the hard way.  The irony is that you are probably my most naturally responsible, instructions-following child.

I am putting the tiny Swiss Army Knife away for a few years.  Yes, the one you were SO excited to find.  The one you promised you’d never use without an adult present.  The one you said you were just excited to have because your older brother has one.  Somewhere in that room of his.  I think.  Who knows.

You’re curious.  I love that.  You are interested in the world and how it works.  You are imaginative and motivated and, despite your protests, you love learning new things.

But you have to respect rules.  Next time, your sliced thumb may require stitches.  Or reattachment.  You are so very, very lucky the result of your curiosity wasn’t more severe.  And I love you for trying to doctor it yourself and clean up the mess you made in the bathroom.  But next time, let Mommy and Daddy take care of it.  We’d rather see the initial consequence of your betrayal than the bloody mess of a hand, arm and clothing you presented when you realized it was too much for you to handle.  Oh, and the state of the bathroom that suggested a chainsaw massacre.

You are sweet, you are smart, you are loving and kind.  You are a wonderful kid and a joy to our lives.  Let’s keep it that way.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It Must be the Lipstick

I recently received a very nice compliment.  Someone I know told me I always look “so nice…so perfectly put together and just, well, so together!”


If she only knew.

I will take the fact that she said the same thing twice as a compliment -- a “words escape me” kind of thing (which happens to me so very, very often).    

I thank my parents for the “perfectly put together,” especially my mother.  Even though she made us get dressed up for every little family function and we were always overdressed, sweaty and not wanting to get our white slacks dirty playing baseball when all the other cousins were wearing cutoffs, we LOOKED good.  And I still tend to overdress most of the time.  It could be a southern thing.  Southern lady advice handed down through generations of presentable and perfectly put-together women.  Women who woke up and immediately applied lipstick.

Better to be overdressed than underdressed.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
You always need a little color on your face.
Every girl needs a little sparkle.
Classics are never boring.   And they never, ever go out of style.
If you're ever in an accident, you want your underwear to be presentable.
(this from my grandmother, who was terrified the emergency personnel working to resuscitate her would judge her if her underwear was less than)

Look closely at me today and you will see that my toenail polish half-gone.  You will notice the coffee stain on the bottom of my dress that I tried (unsuccessfully, apparently) to remove in the bathroom with cold water.  And the residue from the paper towel used to rub it out.  At the top of my dress you will see the grid pattern of my ironing board because I used a too-high setting and scorched the fabric.  It’s shiny and puckered.  My hair is super flat and it doesn't move.  On the advice of a stylist I decided to just wash it every OTHER day, and condition the ends on my non-wash days.  Only I used too much conditioner and it’s pulling everything down so my hair is flat and…filmy is the only way I can describe it.  It's like it melted.  Dry shampoo didn’t help, in fact I think it made things worse.  And itchy.  I was so distraught over my  hair this morning and getting the kids dressed and doing some final cramming for a 3rd grade food chain test that I may or may not have brushed my teeth.  I hope there’s gum in my purse.

Maybe my friend is myopic.  Maybe SHE'S a mess and I look good by comparison.  Maybe I’m the only one who’s looking closely enough to see the mess that I am.  Maybe she got a look at me and was trying to make me feel better.  Maybe it IS all about lipstick.  I dunno.  I am, literally, chaos in high heels this morning.  Maybe I should stop trying to analyze it and feel flattered.

Who doesn't love a compliment?  

Friday, October 19, 2012

World Without Mushrooms

Gasp!  Can you imagine no portabellos?  No criminis?  No truffles???

Asked to explain why decomposers are important to an environment, Little Meems answers:

"Decomposers are important to our environment because if we did not have any mushrooms, what would we do?"


Think about that a while.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Monday

As always, on Monday mornings I am happy for busy weekends and family time.  I am also happy for this guy.  He is the giver of a little peace and quiet for this mama.

I am happy for good friends.  We met in college, and in many ways have grown up together, as now our children are doing.  Also happy for impromptu sleepovers!

I am happy for this fella.  He's gotten HOURS of use and he's only been ours for less than 48 hours.  My chimney is happy for him too.

 My son is happy.  So I am too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scenes From a Weekend

This is Little Meems and her friend at their Indian Princess campout.

This is Little Meems scaling a 5 story pole to zip line.

This is Little Meems in all her thrill seeking glory.

These are the dimples I love seeing so very, very much

 Here's to memories made, courtesy of one amazing Dad.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Monday

Happy Monday!  To catch up...

Happy in Disneyworld with my 4 favorite people.

Happy at home catching up on laundry.

Happy for go karts with my boys.

Happy for cooler weather and my slow cooker.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Steps

I am embarking on a big year of "letting go."

Will is in the 5th grade.  He's ready for, and is craving, more independence.

He's always been my most independent child.  And I don't feel like I've ever struggled with it.  When, as a toddler, he said "me do it" I sat back and let him.  He's a strong-willed kid, a an adventurous kid, a capable kid.  A good kid.  A really good kid.  I've never felt like I needed to worry about him much.  Is he careless sometimes?  Yes.  Impulsive?  Yes.  Irresponsible?  Sometimes.  He's a kid, after all.

But he's trustworthy.  The responsible will come as a result of this.

And that's where I come in.  I have to trust that he's worthy of the responsibility of independence.

And I'm struggling.

Because, his previous bouts of independence have always been under my watchful eye.  But the independence he craves now means he's off into a world where I can't always watch and guide him.  Where I don't have a physical presence.

Ok, ok, he just walked to the bus stop this morning with his brother.  We live down the street.  Not a big deal, right?  It's totally not.  He's been wanting to do this (and I haven't let him ONLY because of that  younger brother) and so this morning, with a sick sister, it was time to make it happen.  His eyes lit up a little, my heart hurt a little.  You WANT your children to want to venture out from under your wings, but I didn't realize it would HURT for them to want that so much.

But I have to let go of my need for control.  I have to let go of my un-readiness.  I have to let go of my fears -- my fears of not being able to provide that watchful eye.

Will, right after he began walking.  And climbing.  And running.  And jumping...

When he began walking, he immediately wanted to climb the stairs.  He had barely mastered getting across the room without falling, but was ready to move on.  And I let him.  I stood behind him, literally and figuratively.  And he took those little baby legs and made big baby steps toward independence.

The legs aren't so little now.  But they will always be baby legs to me.  And now I just stand behind him in the figurative sense.  And that means baby steps.

For me especially.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Monday

Today, I am happy for a happy morning.  

No fighting, no emotions, no moods, no whining. 

Up and at 'em and happiness, despite the day.  

What could be better? 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jen-nay is Run-ning

A little nod to Forrest Gump in honor of the hubs.

Those of you who know me well know that I am not a runner.  Yes, each spring I try to be and by summer time it's just too dang hot.  It's not that I don't like to sweat, but when it's 100 outside I leave puddles behind me on the street.  I would MUCH prefer to work out in the comfort of my air conditioned gym.

This year I liked it more than I usually do, and tried to keep up with it, but holy hotness Richmond!  It's finally cooling off, and I heard a song on the radio the other day that's on my iPod and it made me WANT TO GO RUNNING.  Which is something that hasn't happened in YEARS.  Or probably ever.  Even when I ran in high school I didn't WANT to or LIKE it, particularly.  I needed a sport and I'm too uncoordinated to do anything else and I didn't have to try out for anything.  Score!  Cross country and track, here I come!

But I went today.  And I enjoyed it! (exclamation points as I sit here sweating my eyeballs out -- you know how you sweat more profusely AFTER than during? that's me right now).  Even though I am an ungodly shade of pink.  I am not a pretty runner, nor have I ever been.  The shots of me running at track meets, well, let's just say it looks like I'm about to stroke out.  I turn the most hideous shade of red...all over my body.  My face looks like a tomato and if you look closely, you can actually SEE it throbbing.

Exhibit A

My Little Meems just ran 2 miles with me (beating me the whole way -- she had to wait for me several times to catch up -- she's 9).  Cuteness.  Her, not me.  I'm a holy hot mess.  The picture being fuzzy is actually a good thing.  It's a lot worse than it looks here.  I actually can't believe I'm actually putting this out there for all to see.

But if it gives me more energy, great.  And if it gives me a goal (matching my daughter's pace), wonderful.   And allows me to fit in my skinny jeans, well then bring on the tomato face!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Mission, According to Meems

The other day after running into our neighbors’ small children (including a newborn), Little Meems gave me a directive:

“Be thinking about how we can get one of those.”

Excuse me?  One of what?

“A baby.  Boy or girl, I don’t care.”  A do-you-understand-me nod of her head, and then she was gone.  Running ahead to catch up with her brothers to make sure they weren’t snacking on the Pirate’s Booty without her.

And leaving me to figure out how to score a newborn.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Monday

Today, I am happy for my good cookies, who gave up their Saturday morning to raise money for pediatric cancer research in honor of their friends, one of whom lives in our neighborhood.

I am happy at how excited little T was to be doing this.  And the fact that he asked me what we can do next to help people.  
I am happy because they have the ability to do this.  
I am happy that they can see how good it feels to give back.
I am happy they are not sick.  
I am happy they are not fighting for their lives.  
I am happy our problems are small ones.  
I am happy I don't live in a perpetual state of worry. 
I am happy they can play, and go to school, and have sleepovers and ride bikes.  
I am happy they are HERE, and that I don't have to live without any of them, the fate of far too many parents.  
I am happy that I get to kiss them goodnight.  Each and every one of them.  Each and every night.
I am happy to be able to have been a part of Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

Did you know that: 
Every day in this country, 46 children – two classrooms of children – are diagnosed with cancer. 
Cancer kills more kids in this country than any other disease  –  it’s the NUMBER ONE DISEASE KILLER of kids in this country.
Funding for all pediatric cancers COMBINED makes up less than four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget for cancer research.

I'm happy that this organization is doing so many wonderful, amazing things.
I'm happy to know that, God forbid I ever need them, they're working for my kids too.

Happy Monday!