This is my photo for today.

Day 24 of 365.

Caroline drew these little doodles last night and I just loved them.

I let her stay up an hour after bedtime to draw and color at the sofa table next to me. Once I said I loved the Santa? She just couldn’t stop drawing and coloring. She’s a people pleaser…doing whatever it takes to make someone’s heart all full and stuff. I think I’ll frame these and pull them out every Christmas.

Also, some sweet things she says:

I love you more than you think.

I need to *skur* this up (for stir).

I’ll do whatever makes you happy.

(As I’m snuggled next to her on the couch) You fit this puzzle really goodly, Mommy.

I love you a lot lot lot lot lot lot.

Also, she’s a note-leaver. She leaves notes on my or Tony’s side of the bed so often. She loves to write and love, hug and smooch. She’s a whole bunch of sweetness in one body.


So, this one time?

I got on a roll.

I took one photo each and every day.

For 3 days straight.

BIG TIME ‘on a roll’.

On the 4th day, I decided that I was so very ready for a daily photo project.

I mean. Why not? I was alreay 3 photos in. Why stop now?

So here I am, on day 23 and I’m still at it.

Like the ceiling can’t hold me.

lalaloopsy portrait_edited-1wheresmypants_edited-1chickenheadfinal_edited-1emmymax3_edited-1flower_edited-1piglet_edited-1sparkler_edited-1thanksgivingride_edited-1tweenconverted_edited-1walle3_edited-1dialated2_edited-1cherry_edited-1blueberries_edited-1buzzsilhouette_edited-1foyerlight_edited-1lego table_edited-1newapps_edited-1selfie_edited-1sillybackseat_edited-1sunsetsabrina_edited-1tree7_edited-2carolineflu2final_edited-1allisonfinal_edited-1

  • JessicaN - You got this!! You will totally thank yourself when you have this most awesome collection of photos at the end of the year. I am totally enjoying watching your project daily. Don’t let your fans down. ;)ReplyCancel

  • katie - Way to go friend!!! You’re killing it! Now only how many more days to go? :)ReplyCancel

. . . all in the same 30 seconds.

So, Allison has this chick in her class. Let’s call her Madison. Let’s say that’s not her real name because we don’t want to make anyone feel bad.

But, that’s her real name.

She’s mean.

A real Meanie Head.

Allison came home the other day (before her school Winter Fantasy Program) saying that Madison (not her real name, but it is) was making fun of her. Saying that Allison couldn’t make snowflakes that looked good. Allison, mind you, is THE SWEETEST kid in the world. I’m not saying that because she’s my kid.

I’m saying that because she’s my kid AND she’s the sweetest kid in the world.

So when I heard that this girl was making fun of MY girl? I was less than pleased.

Allison marches to the beat of her own drum and she is amazing at it. She decided that not only was she going to make snowflakes? But she was going to pin ‘em all over herself for the show.

Hey. I’m on board for that.

When she started cutting and folding, I said, ‘You know what? We ’bout to make some snowflakes up in here. And I don’t mean ‘make some snowflakes’. I mean MAKE SOME SNOWFLAKES, gosh darnit.’

So what did this mommy do?

She consulted Pinterest.

I mean. What would YOU do?

And for the next 15 minutes? We MADE SOME SNOWFLAKES, Y’ALL.

And they looked DANG good.

Allison said, after we were done, ‘You know what, Mommy? I’m going to walk up to Madison and say…HEY! Look at THESE snowflakes my mom made!’

And then I said, ‘You know what else you say asyouarewalkingaway? You say ‘SUCK IT MADISON!!!”

Her face literally fell open at that statement I just made.

And then we busted it out laughing.

The day I was the best mommy…for making RADICAL snowflakes…and the day I was the worst mommy….for teaching my kid to use ‘SUCK IT’ in a sentence.



  • katie - Melissa, I love you for so many reasons, but this right here might take the #1 spot. You are you. Amen.ReplyCancel

  • Celeste Pavlik - LOL! You kill me – in a good way! You’re such a hoot, love the way you tell stories about your beautiful kids. I’m so happy Allison showed Madison!ReplyCancel

  • ArieL - That was awesome! I love her expression. It’s a “Bye, Felicia” expression. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • kendra - Your kids rock – just like their mommy <3ReplyCancel

Tonight we did a little tree shopping at a local nursery that we love so much. It’s a family owned spot and is just the cutest little shop ever. I keep meaning to do a little mini session with my girls there, but the days keep slipping by without me doing it. Maybe in the springtime when all of those colorful little flowers are out.

Tonight, though, we bought a heckuvah tree.

When you have a horticulturalist as a husband you get a BIG-n-REAL one.

The smell is delightful.

Every year we seem to have a little *scuffle* over who exactly gets to choose the tree.

And by ‘we’ I mean the biggest girls.

And by ‘scuffle’ I mean we let them lay out in the front yard and wrastle (that’s wrestle everywhere else in the US and Canada) until someone yells UNCLE and comes up with teeth missing.

I’m just kidding. We don’t let it get that far.

This year, Allison won the Tree Pickin’ Contest and chose quite a beauty, I must say. Luckily, we had enough lights to go around.


The girls were SO stinkin’ sweet when they were decorating it. They all worked together while Tony and I watched a good bit of it. Ahhh…having a tween who loves to lead is amazing. *giggle* She even swept up afterward.

Tony and I sat on the couch sipping beverages and holding hands like a cute little couple in love.

Because we are, how ’bout it?

We listened to Christmas music and kept accidentally getting caught under the mistletoe.

After all of that sweetness and fun? Nobody even mentioned Mommy driving into the garage with the tree on top of the Yukon.

*by the way, I’m not stressing over how my pictures look and you shouldn’t either. I’m here to document. Not photograph award winning images. Because all of the moments I photograph ARE award winning to begin with. (Got that nice little mantra from my sweet friend, Lacey Meyers.)

(teeth are blue because she’d just eaten a sucker:))


Caroline (6) brought this adorable writing home just before Thanksgiving.  I wanted to share it here, word for word and in her own spelling.  Translation to follow. :)

Hi.  The pilgrms met the Neetive Americins.  They tot the pilgrms how to hunt and how to plet food.  Osowe they told spookey stores in the starey nite ski.  They madeu fiyrs as briet as the sun.

Win they go hutig they haft to be sow stile.  They are spost to folowe the fute print.  They can cach a rabit or bers.  Oh and they maeck close with it and jrum sticks.

Neetive Americins fish with a pockiy stick.  They catch the fish.  You now how pilgrms hav jods? Neetive Amercins hav jods too.  They hunt.  I told you that you will lieck it but I am just seeg you can tele your frents it.  Now you know abuot Neetive Americins and pilgrms. 


Oh my gosh, y’all.  Is that writing not the cutest?!  Do you even know what that stuff says?  Just read it like it sounds because my girl is very literal with her sounds and writing.  This is a girl who HATED school last year.  Who cried for months and months every.single. morning.  She cried when I dropped her off and she cried when I picked her up.  The ol’ “whyyyyyyy did you leeeeeeeeave me mommy??!!! I haaaaate it heeeeeeere!!”  Now?  Her darling little teacher sends home these writings each and every day.  I treasure them like you would NOT believe.  My girl sits at her seat.  With her little feet hanging down.  Not even touching the floor.  *swinging swinging swinging* Her sweet little hand gripping that pencil like mad.  I can see her little lips moving as she sounds out these big-to-her words.  She’s getting it.  She’s working it.  She’s loving it.



Hi.  The Pilgrims met the Native Americans.  They taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and how to plant food.  Also they told spooky stories in the starry night sky.  They made fires as bright as the sun. 

When they go hunting they have to be so still.  They are supposed to follow the foot print.  They can catch a rabbit or bears.  Oh and they make clothes with it and drum sticks. 

Native Americans fish with a pokey stick.  They catch the fish.  You know how Pilgrims have jobs?  Native Americans have jobs, too.  They hunt.  I told you that you will lick it, but I am just saying you can tell your friends it.  Now you know about Native Americans and Pilgrims. 


  • Karli - LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!!!! (and kudos to me because I didn’t need the translation!! lol! Not even for the “osowe”…. totally got it! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Karli - …. and the 2nd pic from the end?? Oh my GOODNESSSSSSS!!!ReplyCancel

My niece and I have little ones very similar in age and they came up to visit us for a few days.  It was the best!!  Our kids are at the age now where they entertain themselves AND they clean up after themselves.

Well.  Sometimes they clean up after themselves.

Our two smallest LOVE each other.  Ella and Caroline are such sweeties together and I love watching them play.  They just giggle and giggle and giggle.  They are an actual hoot.  They also never fight.

NEVER do they fight.

It’s the sweetest little relationship you ever did see.

When The Cousins came to visit, we ordered pizza, made brownies, stayed up way too late, camped out downstairs (who am I kidding?  I don’t camp ANYWHERE), lit up some sparklers, went to horse riding lessons, explored the barn, played Xbox, danced and gobbled up some Chick-fil-A.  In the middle and all around that stuff….we played and played.  The moms talked and talked.

It was a great time and I know we all enjoyed those little moments together.  Family is wonderful, but family that is THIS rad and connected is even more wonderful.


This morning I watched this little video.

This afternoon I asked two of my cuties The Question.

This one is nine.



This one is six.


When I asked my nine year old, she first said, ‘What would I change about my body? Um…nothing. Why would I change anything?’

When I asked my six year old (they were together at the time), she said, ‘I would have special night vision eyes’.

Her sister immediately changed her answer to ‘Oh! Well, I’ll have some superpowers then. Any sort of super powers.’

Around here, I never ever say things like:

My hair is too frizzy.
I’m not going to eat that cake. (who SAYS that?!)
I’m fat.
My skin is wrinkly.
*insert bad body image comment here*

At what point in our lives did we start changing our answers to a specific body part, do you think?  When we started trying to please other people?  When  we realized that the world doesn’t revolve around us and that there are other people in the world?  People who WANT to tell us what THEY think of us?  What THEY think is beautiful?  You know, kids feel like they are the center of everything.  I wonder if that’s why it never occurs to them to want to change part of their body?  They know their body is perfect how it is.    I want my girls to keep this thought in their little brains….their body, their mind, their thoughts, their SELF is perfect.  Right now.  This very second.  And forever.

I never want them to hear negative body talk around here. I want them to hear….

Your heart is sweet.
I love your giggle.
You’re a fast runner.
You’re a great reader.
I loved it when you did ____.
You are patient.
You are helpful.
Manners are beautiful and so are your freckles.

I want them to know that they are beautiful and that there’s nothing about their body that needs changing. Now or ever. Unless, that is, we can get some night vision and superpowers up in here.