Thanks to each lovely soul who helped our family make it to the last day of school. Thanks to you. And you. And you and you. We made it! 

It’s the last day of school. Thank you to everyone who helped our family achieve this glorious moment. Each of you played a significant role in getting us to where we are today.

Today is the last day of school, a day I wasn’t convinced I would live to see. January and February are sooooooo long and monotonous that it can be easy to believe the school year will never, ever, ever EVER end. Alas, it is here. In all of its overscheduled, overhyped, jam packed, emotional joy.

I would like to thank those of you who helped in allowing me to witness the end of another school year and the start of summer…which will undoubtedly elicit prayers. So many prayers. Mainly for sanity and peace and chocolate. Oh, and a great sangria recipe. Continue reading

20% off adorable Tea Collection plus free shipping. Styles bound to suit your little cuties to a Tea.

Tea Collection, a personal favorite in our house, is having a big Memorial Day sale! My children have each had multiple outfits from their collections over the years. Tea Collection’s adorable clothing, ranging from tiny, precious layettes to bigger kid size 12, is made from super soft cotton and classic in style. It washes incredibly well so our pieces have been worn and loved MANY times over in our home. The wrap neck dresses have been popular with both my girls, eliciting minimal fighting which is important in the early years of dressing children. Who knew putting clothing on small children could be an Olympic sport?

We inherited one of our first Tea Collection dresses from a friend. My oldest daughter wore it frequently and passed it down to our younger daughter. It became one of her favorites, as well, but has now been passed on to our niece. I bore you with this dress genealogy to make the simple point that the dress still looks great! Years of wear through many kids and it has held up….prompting me to purchase several other styles over the last six years.

The simple styles and vibrant prints make their pieces rather timeless. Tea Collection designers travel the world twice a year to bring home adorable patterns. Since I will likely not be doing much globe trotting for the next….oh…say, 18 years, it’s nice to have a little worldly culture to enjoy in the meantime. I will just have to live vicariously through my daughters’ dresses. Wow, that looks even sadder on my computer screen than it did in my head……

In addition to quality clothing, Tea Collection takes pride in sourcing their materials responsibly so you can feel good about your purchase. As a company, they give back to the Global Fund for Children. One more reason I can justify buying MORE kids clothes. Shhhh….don’t tell my husband.

You can enjoy 20% off your purchases and free shipping at checkout. Valid now through Memorial Day- Monday, May 30th with code SUNNYSEASON.

Happy Shopping!

(This page contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for details. Thank you!)

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Good Will Wednesday. Five ways to create and nurture a charitable heart in your child. 

Raising children can be a challenge. Raising children to have a heart for helping others, a ‘servant’s heart’ if you will, is altogether more difficult. They are much more interested in being served than serving. Honestly, if I had to guess I’d say most of us are wired the same way. (I’m looking in the mirror here, folks!) Over time I’ve become increasingly concerned and focused on insuring Matt and I are raising kids who are grateful, appreciative, kind and benevolent. Anything contrary to the entitled creatures everyone believes the generation following their own to be.

I have the benefit of working in a career field that allows me daily access to psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists. I am not too ashamed to admit I have used this accessibility for my personal benefit since I became a mother. I’ve voiced my concern to these friends more than once, as well as to my husband, parents and anyone else who will listen. I also apparently felt it necessary to subject you to the topic via my blog….in the hopes that my incessant pestering of my educated friends might help a few of us along the way! Continue reading

Dear Hunky Bridegroom. What I would say to my husband if I could go back and visit him the night before our wedding. 


In all the guiding and correcting and parenting I do with you, I’ve often thought of what I’d say to a younger version of myself, given the chance. I’ve been gifted and earned and gained and fought and prayed for whatever wisdom I possess. Much of it appearing only with age and life experience. Knowing myself as I do, a younger me likely wouldn’t have listened to an older version of me anyway……so, I guess I shouldn’t be too irritated when you don’t listen to me. Given all this new found thinkin’, my thoughts have shifted to your dad…..and what I’d say to a younger version of him.

Kiddos, your dad and I are sitting at the top of year #11 in our marriage and peering closely at #12. Which starts today around 5 PM. Twelve years. I could wax poetic about the passing of time, say something disgustingly sappy about the magic of our love and soulmate status. But I don’t want to make you guys nauseous. You can barely stomach seeing us hold hands. I’ll simply let you know what I’d say to that young man if I had the chance to revisit him just after our rehearsal dinner. A fresh faced, pale yellow button-down shirt wearing 20-something.

Continue reading

Italy and Insight. Happy Mother’s Day!

It has been said that a woman can’t truly understand and appreciate her own mother until she becomes a mother herself. I find so much truth in this saying. However, my own mother continues to reveal surprising little tidbits nearly nine years after I became a mom……reminding me there are still so many surprises to be discovered. One notable revelation occurred this past Christmas. Let me give you a bit of background that led up to the Mom Shock of 2015……

Matt and I had the incredible opportunity to visit Italy nine years ago, just months before having our first child. It was something that had been on our to-do list for several years. In a moment of sheer panic in early 2007, I told him we needed to take this trip before the baby arrived. In my mind, despite the joy and excitement I knew was imminent, I assumed life as we knew it was over. I feared that if I didn’t see Italy as a waddling, round-bellied lady, I’d be unable to see it until I had my AARP card. After much consideration, planning and budgeting, we booked the trip.

Half-smiling, likely due to a delay in my ‘every-half-hour’ feeding schedule, for a photo in Burano.  Continue reading