Teaching Your Preschooler to Read

A few weeks ago on Instagram, I posted a short video of Gracie reading a book on the day before she started kindergarten.  I am super proud of her for being a pretty darn good little reader before she even starts school.  There were a few people on Instagram who asked how we taught her to read.  I thought I would share a few things that we do in our house to encourage reading. 1. Start early!  Unlike other life skills our kids learn (such as riding a bike or tying…

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Friendship Knows No Country

A little over a year ago, Gracie’s bestest little buddy in her daycare class moved back to Italy.  Her dad was here working for two years, but when his contract was up, they packed their family and sadly headed back to Rome.  Gracie was heartbroken.  We tried doing a few FaceTime sessions with the girls, but it was hard.  Sara was having a tough time adjusting to the language in Rome and Gracie was really missing her friend, so we stopped those.  But still, Sara’s mom and I stayed in…

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Another School Year

Oh, friends!  So much has happened while I have been away!  First of all, THIS happened this morning. (Ignore the years being wrong. I saved the file on my computer last year and didn’t pay attention this morning!) Wasn’t this picture just taken yesterday? And now, Gracie is in kindergarten?!?! IT’S ALL HAPPENING TOO FAST! We dropped Gracie off this morning and she was a champ. It was like she was a professional kindergartener. She walked right in, hung up her backpack, gave Chris and I kisses, and then sat…

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The Master’s Plan

I have very few regrets in my life.  Very, very few.  I believe that mistakes and missed opportunities in our pasts help shape and guide us into our futures.  Regrets are just part of the plan.  But my one regret for the past ten years has been my Masters degree. My big plan in life was to go to law school.  Chris and I had planned that when we graduated from undergrad and were married, we would move to wherever I was accepted to law school.  And then, about four…

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A Toad Abode

This past weekend, we made a super quick trip to our hometown of Pensacola, Florida, to celebrate the 80th birthday of Chris’s grandmother, Grandma Brown.  Grandma Brown has been in my life since I was 15 years old.  She is very special to both Chris and me, and it was so nice to be able to celebrate her with family. We saw family members we hadn’t seen in years.  Unfortunately, I was having such a nice time talking to everyone that I didn’t take a single darn picture.  Chris’s aunt…

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Talking to My Kids About Tragedy

As you all know, Orlando has been in shock for the past two weeks as we deal with a horrific tragedy in our community.  Chris and I weren’t really sure what to tell the kids yet, and since we are home for summer, we weren’t really worried about them hearing about it from friends or anything.  So, we were completely unprepared when both of them came running into our bedroom one morning,  yelling, “MOM!  DAD!  49 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN ORLANDO THIS PAST WEEKEND!” Chris and I hardly ever have…

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Gracie’s New Hardware

It has been a long, emotional 24 hours in my city.  As the victim’s names are released, we find connections to them in all different places.  Former students of coworkers, friends of friends, church members, sons, and daughters.  It is just heartbreaking to watch this happen to our community.  Thank you for letting me use my so very nonpolitical corner of the blogosphere to share some of my frustrations, anger, and hurt.  I know that this issue is very divisive and I normally avoid topics like this like the plague,…

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I’ll Miss This One Day

This past Saturday afternoon, we were all in the kitchen having lunch.  We had a baseball game to get to, and Chris and I were hurrying around trying to get ready to go and the kids were goofing around while they ate. And I thought to myself in the middle of the shuffle, “I’ll miss this one day.” I’ll miss the normalcy of intense Pokemon discussions and negotiations over how many carrots have to be eaten. I’ll miss the countless, half-dressed baby dolls that I have to share meals with…

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I’m Becoming My Mother

Growing up, there were things my mom did that I just could not understand in my juvenile, young adult mind.  In fact, I didn’t understand them fully until I became a mother myself. She rode in the car without music on.  This used to drive me crazy.  She would never turn the radio on.  In my young mind, I could not fathom how you could drive around all the time without music blaring in your ears.  And then, a few months ago, I was driving around with music blaring in…

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Recital Pictures So Cute, It Might Break the Internets

You. Guys. Gracie had her tap recital this weekend.  Holy cow.  Cute doesn’t even begin to cover the extent of the pink, fluffy, adorableness in these pictures. As you all know, Gracie is quite the riot.  She is feisty, energetic, loud, and bossy…  But only really in our house with our family.  When she is in school or out somewhere with friends, Gracie tends to be more on the shy side.  And these pictures capture that so well. Look at her sweet little face.  She looks terrified.  And she really…

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