#TBT: Greatest Gifts

Sometimes the greatest gifts are the ones that are free. Last weekend, we were in Cleveland with family, and my cousin Jessie and her daughter flew in from California. She brought me this bag that she had… I’m sure she found it at my grandmother’s house after she passed away years ago. It also had one of Grandma’s scarves in it.

TBT Free Gifts

I don’t know what meant more… that my cousin saved it to give to me (knowing how much it would mean to me) or that my grandmother had kept this cheap bag with a picture of the two of us for all these years. Thank you, Jessie, for the wonderful gift!

SAHM Mom Survival Guide eBook Review

“We don’t have the benefit of a routine ‘eight to five’ job where you accomplish the same tasks day in and out. Our lives take us in a million different directions and there is no way anyone can keep all of those things. Getting the events, appointments, and schedules out of your head and onto paper will free you from the stress.”  – Rebekah, The Stay At Home Mom Survival Kit

SAHM SK Book Mockup

As a Stay at Home Mom of our twins, I have a soft spot for other mamas who try to do other things in addition to mothering and taking care of the house. Many of us were professionals before becoming wives and mothers, and it is honestly hard to just completely turn off the switch to want to have adult interaction and help others, thus setting a good example for our children in being a steward of the world.

Most of us bloggers don’t blog just for ourselves. We are hoping to reach others and somehow touch them, whether that is to make them laugh, cry, or create. Today, I want to feature a Stay at Home Mommy Blogger (Rebekah with Charming Imperfections) who has done that with her new ebook, The Stay At Home Mom Survival Kit. I had the chance to read an advanced copy, and it is fantastic for anyone who needs a little (or a lot of) help getting organized to run an entire household. Don’t let the name fool you, as this is really fantastic for all moms, dads, or even those without children. It really could be called the “Household Survival Kit,” because of how versatile it is! Although, if you are a SAHM, you will love Rebekah’s tidbits and discussions at each section.

So what is included in this survival kit?

  • Schedules: More than just a cute calendar, the scheduling pages will give you the chance to organize and plan for every event and appointment (with 6 printable pages)
  • Finances: Get on a budget, organize your bills, tackle that debt, and commit to becoming financially wise with the pages included in this section (with 13 printable pages)
  • Meal Planning: Meal planning is simplified with the inventories, planning pages, shopping lists, and strategy worksheets to help you feed your family and save money (with 10 printable pages)
  • Housework: Every checklist and chore chart you need to get started and stay on track towards a cleaner, more comfortable home (with 7 printable pages)
  • Activities: Take the work out of fun with the planning pages included in the Activities section. Plus, get the Vacation Planning Kit for free (with 11 printable pages)
  • Health: Monitor your weight and fitness progress, keep track of medications, and have information on all the medical facilities you visit on one page (with 10 printable pages)

The book is structured with a narrative and then the printable pages. Each section explains the background and also instructs you how to use and modify the printables to fit your family. It is absolutely beautiful, but it is also designed to take minimal ink when printed. It will also look gorgeous in black and white if you want to save your colored ink.

“As a mom of twins, I have to be organized. Our household wouldn’t function any other way. I really loved this eBook, as it was almost as if I wrote the book with the way that I try to keep my home, finances, and lists organized. Rebekah does a wonderful job explaining each of the sections well and then having thorough and cute charts, lists, and calendars that we can print out and use. This isn’t just a book for Stay at Home Moms, though! All families could take their household organization to the next level with the help of this kit!” – Dory Doyle

The entire eBook is $15, but there are also some free printables available on the book’s webpage if you want to try before you buy.  If you purchase this book during the launch week (September 15-22), you can save $5 by using the code LAUNCHWEEK. In addition, 10% of all sales from September 15-October 6 will be donated to a local charity called Esther House, which is a transitional, grace-based facility for women and/or women with children who have experienced incarceration, abuse, homelessness, and emotional and spiritual wounds.

There are also a slew of other products and updates coming from Rebakah and Charming Imperfections, including a holiday planner coming in mid-November and a New Year Planner and expanded Health and Fitness section coming at the end of December.

SAHM SK 46x60

 

Disclaimer: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Charming Imperfections. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

Surviving Toddler Allergy Testing

Well, we did it! David survived his marathon of allergy testing today. I was so proud of my 20-month-old baby boy. He did so well through all of it! Here’s some background:

David and Audrey were exclusively breastfed from birth until about 4-5 months old. I got sick around this time with a stomach bug, and my supply seriously dwindled, so we started supplementing with formula once every few days, only as needed. We found that this did a number on A & D’s stomachs when we didn’t have a regular routine with the formula, so after a few months, we did one bottle of formula a day, while still breastfeeding the rest of the time. We also introduced solid foods at 4 months old, per the suggestion of our pediatrician.

Around this time, we also started to see some rough skin patches on David. It wasn’t a lot, but it definitely was noticeable. We treated it with lotion, and we kept it contained, but it didn’t totally go away.

Last fall (about a year old), we noticed that David was scratching his ankles to the point of bleeding, and so we used lots and lots of creams, lotions, and even some steroid cream to treat it. It would go away temporarily, but it never fully healed.

Fast forward to this summer (about 18 months old). We started seeing that rough skin in more places along his legs, especially the ankles, back of his knees, and inside his elbows. We wondered if it was heat rash, but our pediatrician thought it was just eczema (keep it moist with lotions and the rest).

Then, just about a week ago, his legs erupted and were completely covered in red, raw, irritated inflammation. It was on his back and stomach too. He itched everywhere. He scratched so hard on his chest that he has a scar along his sternum. When it only seemed to be getting worse over the weekend, we went back to the doctor. When the pediatrician took one look at him, she recommended that we get allergy testing.

That was Monday. I was able to get an appointment for two days later… today.

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So, this morning at 7 AM, David and I left for our 7:15 appointment (Ok, well, if I’m going to be real, we left at 7:10 and got there at 7:20). This would be the longest amount of time that David and Audrey have ever been separated. I was actually more worried about that than the testing itself.

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Once we got there and got David’s height (33 inches) and weight (26 lbs), we met with the allergist, a sweet woman who used to be a pediatrician (great bedside manner). Side note: David fell in love and cried when she left the room. In talking to her, we came up with the list of what we would test (55 different possibilities). We gathered our gear and went to the testing room, where I took his shirt off and put on a baby gown with the Looney Toon characters.


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David was not a fan, and we ended up letting him go shirtless.

Once they had prepped the test, they came in and drew on his back. I had the iPad going with The Muppets, so he only squirmed from the tickle of the pen once.

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Then, when we were ready to begin, I sat on the table, he sat in my lap facing me, and we had two helpers: 1 on each side holding an arm and leg each. I have never seen someone poke someone so fast. Over 55 “scratches” on the back in under 2 minutes.

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David cried, but he didn’t thrash his head around or move at all. He was such a trooper. And when it was over, we had to wait for 20 minutes. My instructions were to make sure he didn’t touch or scratch his back.

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So we watched The Muppets. And then the nurse brought in a popsicle for David (his first since all the many I had while I was pregnant with him). He LOVED it, and we quickly got the second half. Even if it was loaded with sugar, he deserved such a treat.

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He scratched his chest constantly, but I figured it was better that he do that than try to scratch his back.

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After 5 minutes

 

Then after 20 minutes, we got the results. The baseline was a good strong measurement, so they were happy that the results would be accurate.

David is allergic to watermelon and mushroom (two plusses on the sheet).

He also shows signs of being allergic to coconut, turkey, peanuts, soybeans, grass mix, and weed mix.

When we finally were able to meet with the doctor again, she said, “Well I hope that this gives you some answers.” But it didn’t. I felt just as stuck. I mean, out of that list, he hasn’t eaten any of that in the past couple weeks. At least, not that I thought. I was convinced that it would be milk (he has really upped his milk and yogurt intake in the last month).

Then, as we talked, she explained that soy is in so much food. Even just a slight irritation to it could trigger something like what we are seeing with David. So it’s entirely possible that the soy did the trick. Also, the grass and weed mixes could come into play (we didn’t test all of the environmental allergens, as we wanted to focus on the food and dog/cat). Then, I had been using a homemade lotion with coconut oil in it. Typically, we should be able to use something topically if he is allergic to it (since these showed up as minor allergies), but with that on top of a reaction already, it probably did worsen everything.

So now comes the elimination. For the next 10 days, we don’t eat any of those. We have a special lotion and cream. He will have a steroid for the worst skin spots. He will be on an allergy medication. Honestly, it’s everything my crunchy and natural-mindedness is against. But I also know that we need to figure this out. So we will follow this advice, try it out, and then we can go from there once we see if this helps. After 10 days of elimination, we will have 4 days of a binge (or as much as we can have a picky toddler binge on certain foods).

After I got home, we looked through the pantry. We had armful after armful of food that contained soy. The bread that he eats every day (and has recently started craving) has soy in it. Two brands of his favorite crackers. The mac and cheese that he gobbles up. It started making sense. FINALLY I felt like we have figured it out.

So now we just wait and see. And thankfully Cheerios are still on the “can have” list.

Thank you so much to ALL of our friends and family who have offered supports and love and thoughts. I can’t tell you how much it means to us. We have been so blessed to have such healthy children, and this is truly the first “big” thing that we’ve had to go through. Thankfully, I’ve been through allergy testing, so I knew what to expect, and David handled it like a champ. He was so happy and cute and talkative and easy-going. He loved his mommy-David morning, despite the 2 minutes of pain. I was so proud of my big “baby boy.”

And just to see how quickly he bounced back, here is a video of him after we got back home.

How to Have a Successful Yard Sale

YARD SALE Tips and Tricks - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Spring and summer is the prime time in our family to clean our our closets, shelves, and garage. And that means YARD SALE! Normally, our neighborhood will have a multi-family sale which usually brings in lots of traffic. We weren’t able to participate this year, but we still decided to hold our own sale. Here are some tips that we have learned from years of organizing and selling at yard sales:

Family Yard Sale No Address

1. Advertisement: Make sure to advertise far and wide. Take out an ad in your paper, put a notice up on Craigslist, talk it up on your local buy/sell groups, and plaster it on Facebook. Then, put up a sign (or a few, depending on where you live) in front of your neighborhood at least 4 days prior to the yard sale, but no more than 6 days (you don’t want them to think that it is a leftover sign from last week’s sales). We created this little ad to post on social media outlets without our address (people sent a message if they needed it), and then we had one with our address for a few select places.

2. Start cleaning out early: Don’t wait until the last minute to get and sort through your things. Sure there will be a lot of piles and boxes for a couple of weeks, but it will make for a successful and much less hectic yard sale. As a rule, anything that isn’t set out in our garage the night before the yard sale (at the latest) doesn’t go into the sale.

3. Organize into categories: We like to organize into the following categories:

  • Men Clothes (and type)
  • Women Clothes (and type)
  • Baby Clothes (and sizes/season)
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Housewares
  • DIY and crafts
  • Toys and stuffed animals
  • …you get the idea

4. Hang up clothes: While it may be a hassle to get everything hung up, it is the ONLY way to sell clothes. If you put clothes on tables (even if you neatly fold them), the first person that visits the sale will mess up your organization, and no one will touch the clothes from then on. I speak from experience.

5. Get things off the ground: The only things that should be on the ground are furniture. Everything else needs to be on tables (tray tables or fold-up tables work great for yard sales). If it’s on the ground, no one will want to bend down to look closely. Put it on a table, and it’s much more convenient to shop.

6. List prices: Either have a poster board with prices or have everything labeled. Sure, people won’t look and will still ask the price, but that way you can refer to it and they know that you didn’t pick the price out of thin air. It also helps you feel more organized and ready to sell.

7. Be willing to sell for cheap: Make sure to see my welcome phrase in #9, but it’s important that you are willing to sell for cheap. If you won’t, be ok with it not selling.

8. Be ok with negotiating: This is my favorite part of yard sales, both from a buyer and seller’s perspective. This is where the fun comes in, and if you negotiate with a smile on your face, your customer will leave feeling like they got a good deal and you will have a little extra cash in your pocket.

9. Have fun: Whenever someone walked up to our yard sale, I greeted them with a big “Hi!” and followed that with saying, “Everything has to go one way or another! If it doesn’t go home with you, then we will be taking it to Goodwill. It doesn’t come back in the house.” Sometimes I would add, “We love to bundle, and the fun of yard sales is haggling. So let’s have some fun!” I always got smiles, and it let them know that we weren’t too set on any prices.

10. Stand up for your stuff: There will be some potential customers that come and either take things (Seriously, you can’t pay $1 for that Polo shirt?), want to be jerks about offering $2 total for 25 items (and pushy when you try to negotiate), or put their hands on EVERYTHING. Know your limits and where you feel comfortable going with this. Here are some stories from the yard sale trenches:

  • A man came and wanted to purchase 4 things, which we had $1 listed on each of them. He offered us $0.50. One of the items was a new-in-box wrist guard (that he was trying to hide under his other things), so I told him that I would go to $1.50, but that was it. He said, “No, 50 cents.” But I stood firm and told him that he had quite a lot there, including that wrist guard (which I pulled from the bottom of his pile so he knew that I saw his trickery.” I won out, and he got a great deal at $1.50.
  • There was a woman who grabbed about 40items of clothes (I kid you not). We put a flat price of $3 for each item of adult clothes and $5 for each jacket or coat. She had well over $300 of items if they were new. She offered $50, and I told her that according to our prices, it would be $150. We settled on $80. She got a great bargain, and I knew that if I didn’t sell to her, it was late enough in the day that they would go to Goodwill. Win for everyone.
  • Our first customers of the day were 2 mothers and 2 kids. The kids (about 8 years old) ran over to the toys and immediately wanted two things on the table and started playing. We settled on a price, and the daughter ran off to the car with the toy in her hand. I called after her, asking her to bring back the toys until they were paid for. One of the women started flailing her arms and complaining and threw the toy on the table and they stormed off. I was sorry for the woman’s reaction, but how did I know that they wouldn’t just leave without paying? Those toys later sold to a very sweet family.
  • While I was talking to a very kind family about some baby items and toys (who had a slight Spanish accent), a woman came over to us to look at the table. She started talking in a very loud voice about how they probably didn’t know what a dollar was and couldn’t understand me. How absolutely rude and uncalled for. Needless to say, I didn’t sell her anything (I would rather lose a sale than to acknowledge that type of behavior).
  • A young couple arrived at the yard sale about 35 minutes after we opened. They saw our patio set and loved it. We originally had a price of $40 for the table, chairs, and umbrella (what a bargain!). They just stood and stared at it for a good 10 minutes while we helped other customers. When we had a few minutes to chat with them, they told us that they only had $20 on them, but they could run to the bank and get $10 more, but that was as much as they could afford. We knew they wanted it, and we were more than thrilled to give it to them for $30. In fact, we would probably have settled for $10 just because of how much they wanted it (but we didn’t let them know that).
  • And although this happened years ago (at our first yard sale), I still think of this young man fondly, so I must include it in this post. When Tim and I were in college, our first “big purchase” together was a Nintendo NES game system and about 20 games. When we bought our house, we hadn’t used this system for 2 or 3 years, so we decided it was time for it to find a new home. A young man about 18 or 19 came by and just was drooling over this system. He couldn’t afford the price we put on it, but he showed us the money he had in his wallet and asked if he could get it for that. One look between Tim and me, and we knew that he was the right owner for this system. For us, yard sales are a great way of making money, but they are an even better way of connecting to people.

So, did we miss any tips that you think are important for yard sales?

Guest Post: Safety Tips from KidCo

The following post hits very close to home as we have two toddlers that are not walking… they are running and climbing and pulling and reorganizing. I’ve always had the “pool of blood theory” which I inherited from my mom (everything will end in a pool of blood), so safety has always been so important to us. As we are starting to feel comfortable letting the twins run through the downstairs on their own, these tips are so important.

 

From the very first moment you meet and hold your baby, keeping them safe and secure impels your every thought and action.  You have picked the perfect nursery colors, the safest car seat, the safest stroller, the softest onesies, and the most comfortable organic absorbing diapers.  You have researched for hours the best formula, or have chosen breast feeding.  After all, the smallest person you know has now become the biggest part of your world.

You observe their development, celebrating the first smile, the first time they sleep through the night, the first time they sit up on their own.  That big milestone of first steps is just around the corner.  Your camera is ready and you are ready to hit the “Post” button.  STOP!  Exactly how much time have you spent researching and assessing the safety of the environment for which they are about to have free reign?  Safe and secure, at the top of the list – not quite.

Did you know that falling TV’s and tipping furniture is the number one cause of serious injuries, and sometimes devastating consequences for small children?  Window falls is at the top of the list as well. The cleaning supplies and utensils in your cabinets and drawers are just as concerning as the electrical cords and outlets that draw the attention of your baby who is now mobile. Wait a minute, why wasn’t this information as readily available to you as the 42 features on that stroller you purchased?

Child proofing your home is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure their safety once they become mobile.  The best way to evaluate how to make their home a safe environment is by going through this easy check list:

Get on our hands and knees and look at every room from your baby’s perspective.  Electrical outlets, cords, and stairs are all areas that need to be secured.

  1. Stairways: Make sure you purchase hardware mounted gates for top of stairs.  If you have a basement, be sure that stairway is secured along with your main staircase.  Pressure mounted gates are fine for bottom of stair protection and between rooms.  Garage attached to your home?  That doorway is definitely in need of a gate!
  2. Doors and windows: Now is the time to secure the windows in your child’s room.  Both window stops and window guards provide the necessary protection.  Choose what best fits your personal security.
  3. TVs and Furniture: All televisions in your home should be secured to prevent tipping.  Dressers in baby’s room, as well your bedroom and any other tall piece of furniture should be secured to prevent topping over.  Once your child becomes mobile, curiosity will be the catalyst to provide climbing skills.
  4. Drawers/Cabinets: All kitchen, bathroom and utility room drawers and cabinets should be secured to prevent your child from accessing dangers of cleaning supplies, utensils, medication, and so much more.  Drawer and cabinet locks are available in both screw mount and adhesive mount installations.  Don’t forget to secure your appliances as well.  Little one’s begin exploring and their view and excitement do not include safety precautions.
  5. Kitchen: All those cabinets and drawers!  As mentioned in #5 – so many dangers to be secured.  Additionally, the stove.  Most injuries involving stoves are from pots of boiling water or hot soups being pulled onto curious little ones.  A stove guard should be installed in all homes with small children.  In addition, always use the back burners as a first choice.  This prevents little hands from getting burned from hot surfaces at the front of the stove.  When cooking, handles should be turned in so no accidental spills occur.
  6. Bathroom: Toilets pose the danger of drowning.  Your toddler is top heavy and curious.  There is a variety of toilet locks on the market.
  7. Furniture: Once your baby starts crawling and can pull themselves up – well, they go down just as easy.  Those sharp edges of tables, and counter tops can easily injure your child.  Corner and table protectors come in a variety of colors and sizes.  Most can even be mounted on the bottom side of counter edges which provides added protection for little ones.
  8. Doors: When you child becomes mobile, their curiosity to the outside world is forefront.  Installing door locks not only prevents them from quickly getting outside, but it can also keep them out of rooms in the house where they should not be.  Also protective products that get placed in door hinges help prevent little fingers from getting closed in doors.  There are a variety of products on the market including locks for bi-fold doors.
  9. Fireplaces: Beside the danger of getting burned, most fireplace hearths are made of hard surfaces which can cause bumps and bruises to little ones, and worse yet head injuries.  A safety gate installed around the hearth or wood burning stove will prevent these injuries. There is also padded safety products designed especially for the raised hearths – perfect for those seasons when the fireplace is not in use.
  10. Cribs and Beds:  As your little ones become mobile, getting out of their crib becomes an achievement – and much stress for you.  Installing a convertible crib rail will prevent them from falling out and getting injured while sound asleep.  And when they awake, they can safely come looking for you.  If your child is ready to transition to a “big” bed, bedrails will keep them protected from falling out of bed, and still allow for their walk down to the hallway to bunk with mom and dad.

Remember, your child depends on you to keep them safe and secure.  They are only little for such a short time.  You will not be able to protect them from everything.  There will be skinned knees, fat lips, and the disappointments that will bring tears to their eyes.  As they develop from infants to toddlers and start to explore their world, that you call their home – make it safe!


Lorraine Parisi is the Marketing Services Manager for KidCo, Inc.  In addition to her ten years’ experience in the juvenile products industry, she has personally enjoyed 25 years of being a mother and the hands on experience with her 20+ nieces and nephews which  includes a newborn.

“In 25 years of raising my daughter and son, I have never met an age I did not like.  And I have found that in the heart of a mother, no matter how old your children are, you always want to keep them safe!”

A Roadtrip, an Anniversary, Passover, and Easter

We have had a very, very busy few weeks!

I took my first road trip away from the twins, and I survived! Tim’s mom Pat and I went up to New Jersey to surprise his cousin at her (surprise) baby shower. We drove up one morning, went to the shower, and then drove back the next day. It was exhausting, but a fantastic trip (and great to know that we can all survive when Mommy goes away). Tim, his dad, and his grandfather were on duty, and they did a great job with the kids! Plus, I got plenty of pictures throughout the two days, so I knew my kids were happy, healthy, and safe! Although we were gone for less than 36 hours, we managed a 6-hour car trip, a quick (and cold) trip to the beach, stories from Pat’s childhood (I absolutely LOVE to hear background about someone’s childhood and past, especially when we can visit those places), a visit with extended family, the shower (surprise!!!), breakfast at a great diner, and then another 6-hour car trip (and a stop at a favorite store on the way back to see their new improvements in a new location).

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The very next weekend, we were so lucky to be able celebrate two very important holidays: Passover and Easter. We had my entire family over for our Passover Seder, where we were able to do the entire seder and 10 songs in under an hour! And we had (relatively) happy toddlers the whole time. WIN! Big huge props to my mom for doing all of the cooking and prepping and bringing them to our house so that we could keep the kids comfortable and make it easier on us. Thank you!

Then on Sunday, we went Tim’s family’s church (well, the fellowship hour after the service), where the twins could meet many of Tim’s parents’ friends. Then we went back to the Doyles’ house for an Easter egg hunt and some playing.

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Oh, and in between Passover and Easter was our anniversary… so of course we had to take a trip to the local zoo so that the kids could see the animals. They loved it so much we may become members so we can go often.

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I love springtime because of the holidays, time spent outside and visiting, and the fact that summer is almost here! But, man, is it busy and exhausting! Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A Spring-Filled DIY Mother’s Day Present

Although I made these last year, I wanted to show them off as a great present for the moms in your life. This would also be a great teacher appreciation gift! These were for Tim and my mom for Mother’s Day, which is why you will see two of them.

Supplies:

1 basket or bucket for planting
floral foam (wet or dry is fine) or styrofoam
floral lei (bracelet or necklace size)
floral wire
assorted seeds
decorative garden spike
note

Directions:

1. Inset the floral foam in the bucket. It does not need to fill the whole area.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

In fact, it can even stick up over top the bucket.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

2. Place the floral lei over the top to cover up the foam.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

3. Fold down the floral wire to make the clip to hold the seeds at various heights.

4. Insert the wire into the foam and the seeds into the wire. Add the spike to it as well.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

5. Attach the note.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

6. All done!

 

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

12 and 6 and 2 Years

12 years ago, Tim and I were high school seniors, about to start at Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt in the fall. But we had an undeniable attraction to each other, so we decided to “date casually” (we didn’t truly understand what that meant then or now, but it felt safer than actual “dating” when we were about to go off to college). That “dating casually” lasted 2 days, when we decided that we just wanted to be together as “boyfriend and girlfriend.”

Dory and Tim 2005

We dated a LOOOOONG time… continuously through the first year when we had a long-distance relationship and then the next 3 years of college when I transferred to VT (no break-ups through all of it!), and into grad school for me and Tim’s job. 4.5 years after we started dating, Tim proposed. A year and a half later we got married… On April 4. On our “casual dating” anniversary.

Dory and Tim 2009

The first week in April will always be special for us. On April 4, 2003 (12 years ago), we started dating. On April 4, 2009 (6 years ago), we got married. On April 5, 2013 (2 years ago), we found out I was pregnant (only to be surprised later that it was twins).

Starting tomorrow, we will have been married longer than we dated. Crazy to think, but also it feels like there has never been a time that we weren’t together. I love you so much, Tim! Thank you for your selflessness, your love, your support. Thank you for being the best daddy to Audrey and David. Thank you for providing so much for us and for allowing me to stay at home with our kids and also work on my business ventures. You are my rock. I love you so much! Happy anniversary!

Dory and Tim 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIM!

We interrupt the recipe posts for a special birthday announcement…

Baby Tim

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TIM!!!!! 12 years ago, I walked in at the tail end of your birthday party, bringing an old (but still in the box) trash can basketball hoop. I’d like to think that it swept you off your feet and the rest is history.

I love you so much! Thank you for being the father of my children (and fur-children) and the most incredible husband we could ask for. You are my partner in everything.

May the next 2/3 of your life (and more) be as wonderful as the first 1/3!

And now for some breakfast cake!

Thanksgiving, Chanukkah, and Christmas 2014

Holiday Card 2014

Please forgive me for a very long post filled with many pictures, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to post pictures from the past month’s festivities. Enjoy them!

Thanksgiving 2014

Chanukkah 2014

 

Christmas 2014