Come Halloween, the wind chill around here freezes the fun right out of trick or treating if you aren’t sporting a coat.

Unless you live in the South. Or California. Or lots of places, probably.

But HERE we have snow, or wind, or cold – and darkness and probably no fall leaves on the trees.

But we refuse to let our southern friends have all the good pictures.

So, do it early. While the trees are pretty, the weather is tolerable, and before the kids are mad at you for wanting to take pictures on Halloween night when they would rather be stuffing their faces with peanut butter cups.

A friendly suggestion from me to you.

Do it before Halloween like your bossy photographer friend.

Just wait for Claire. She’s a snow owl. Totally works with Avery.

Caeden is a gangster from the prohibition era. Does not work with my owl thing. He reminds me it isn’t about ‘my thing.’

I’ll still get a picture, mind you. He might have the same size feet but I am still his mother and I can threaten better than any gangster.




seventeen months


17 months.

Loves tomatoes the most.

Likes to vacuum and “clean.”

Still gives the best hugs on earth.

Doesn’t say anything except “hi” and “mmmmmm (yum).”

Loves to go for walks and play outside.

Will grab my hand to walk around the house. Just because.

Teething something fierce.

Looks exactly like his father.

Loves exactly like his mother.




Ollie + Avery


Cousins born 3 months apart.

Ollie is loud. Avery is quiet.

Ollie is a sports prodigy. Avery … has my genetic handicap.

Ollie splashes in the tub. Avery sits quietly wondering why he hadn’t thought of that.

Ollie likes bread and butter. Avery likes bread and butter.

Ollie likes the wagon. Avery does not care. Get. Out. Of. The. Wagon.





My Mom raised me, my brother, and my sister as one unit. My sister (technically) has a different dad than my brother and I, but it meant nothing to us at all.

I don’t recall a time that my Mom ever (ever, ever!) distinguished us in that way. We were full siblings and that was the end of it.

Even if someone pressed me, and knew Lindsay had a different dad, I stood firm that we were full sisters. Stubbornly.

The loyalty the three of us have runs very deep, and I know all of us would be insulted if anyone ever called us out on our “whole sibling” status.


Which brings me to my family.

I sit here looking at Avery and Claire (Cade was off with a friend and Grace was with her Mom) and I see my babies.

I don’t see division lines. Not for a second do I accept them as “half-siblings.” Caeden and Claire are not in one camp while Avery is in another.

And if I do anything right as a Mom, it’s that they know I have their back, and when I am gone, they better have each others’.

Brother and Sister.


For me, there is nothing diluted or technical to debate.


Which also brings up an interesting scenario with Grace.

I will tell you right now, a goal of mine was to swoop up Grace into our family and make her feel as loved as c2 and avery.

I now know it isn’t up to me, but up to her. I keep the door open and I smile big when I see her approach it, but I try not to be disappointed when she doesn’t walk through.

Time takes time.

And a lot is out of my control (Rylan is teaching me this).

A very hard lesson for me to learn has been that my job is to love her and care for her, but she doesn’t need me to be a ‘mom.’

If you are a step-parent to a child with very involved and loving parents, you know what I mean. They don’t need you as much.

Which has been very hard for me to get used to. Probably the biggest obstacle for me in regards to having a blended family.

She has a great mom with whom she is very close to, so she very much feels the difference in families, especially since she goes back and forth. Whereas, obviously, Caeden and Claire don’t.

So yes, Grace is a step-sibling to c2. And if she ever calls Avery her “half” brother, it will break my heart into a million pieces.

However, Claire wouldn’t even know what you were talking about. Grace is just her “sister.”

And Caeden would be mad if anyone labeled Grace as his step-sister. He does know the difference, but he too, chooses to be inclusive, which I love, love, love about my kids.


All of this rambling to say, I stared at this picture this morning, and thought of how very lucky Avery is to have Claire. Caeden. Grace.

And I really hope to parent them in a way to show them that, just as when I grew up, “half and step” are words that do not belong in a sentence with brother and sister.




a mess


It’s all messy:

The hair.

The heart.

The words.



(Especially the gummy bears stuffed in his cheeks and congealed in his fists.)