hey babe (16).



Well, hello there.  It’s been another year and I can’t even believe I’m typing that out.  How does time pass me by like a jet plane?  We just celebrated your 4th birthday and you are such a perfect mix currently of questions and sought confirmations, “Right, mom?  Right?” and random outbursts, “I don’t want to leave the playyyyygrouuundddddd!” and sweet and thoughtful gestures, “Hey, come meet my mom.  She’s really nice” (to a friend at the museum the other day”.  You talk our ears off.  Really, truly.  You never, ever stop talking.  I try to get you to play “the quiet game”.  You’ll say, “O.k.!” and then after about 20 seconds you’ll say, “Mom, I won!  I was quiet!  I won!”.

You begin your second year in the children’s house at your Montessori school in two weeks, but before you go back I’m going to take a full week off with you at home just to go to the beach and the Natural History Museum and the playground and soak up as much of you as I can before we get back into the school year routine.

It’s been a wild year so far.  2016 has kind of kicked our butts.  I think we’ve done a really amazing job of remaining flexible and open during all of the changes, but it hasn’t been one bit easy.  My relationship with your dad is taking on a different form and that has had it’s fair share of complexities to navigate these last 7 months.  I feel so grateful that we bonded together during my pregnancy and gave it our best shot these past 5 years.  I needed that.  You needed that.  We all did.

And we have a connection now that we’ll have forever.  We have a history that goes back 10 years and we have YOU.  We have put your first in every way we know how since the moment we found out we were pregnant with you and ever since and I’m proud of that.  I’m proud that we’ve been (mostly) kind to each other in our communication throughout these difficult months and that we’ve had talks that have led to disagreements and then, ultimately, agreements so that we didn’t have to fight in the courts over this and that and who deserves what.  Just the thought of that kind of war is enough to keep me under the covers.  It’s really difficult to practice kindness and empathy and listening and all of those things when your heart is shattered and I know we’ve both found that to be the case at times, but we’ve taken it one day at a time and time is on our side.

So here we are:  on separate paths that are forever linked by you and we love each other and we love you and that will never, ever change (not even for a second).  My greatest hope is that you look back on this season, if you remember it at all, with ambivalence.  I hope you remember that there was a time when some big things changed, but that we kept your life as steady as we could in the midst of that change and that you felt loved and taken care of each step of the way.

The biggest goal, for me, this next year, is to stay focused on you and making sure you’re happy and content and have boundaries and feel safe.  I want to connect with other moms and work amongst the people I love and read a lot of books that bring me joy and cook dinners and stay home where I feel calm.  I want things to be simple and 1,2,3.  I think we both need that right now, so that’s what I’m committed to.  I’m committed to reading stories with you and taking you around the block on your new spiderman bike and teaching you things and listening to you and giving you more hugs than you ask for because I really can’t help myself and my-god-if-your-ears-are-not-the-yummiest-thing to nibble!

Currently you love superheroes (Spiderman is your favorite), Legos, your stuffed shark, “Toothy”, going to the farm to visit your grandparents, spending the night with Nanny & Papa and going to “B Sweeties”…  watching kids YouTube, playing at playgrounds, going to The Natural History museum, visiting The Lego Store at the mall, eating “Fruity Petals”, pushing around mini shopping carts at the grocery store, and going to the movie theater.  We also recently discovered Squaw Rock and you LOVE it there.  You love people and play dates and bouncy houses and blow up pools and riding in the ranger with Grandpa.  You’re social and friendly and opinionated and moody.  You’re curious and talkative and funny and have a really cute way of saying things.  L’s and S’s and Th’s are tough for you so you say “White” instead of “Right”, “Shwim” instead of “Swim” and “Toofy” instead of “Toothy”.  :-)

Here’s the deal:  I’m really proud of you.  I’m really proud of how you’re adjusting and learning kindness and how to share.  I’m really proud that you find the beauty in so many small things when we’re together and how you are brave and big around people instead of timid and small.  I’m proud that you love so hard despite the difficulties of transition and change that I know are giant mountains in your world ~ and in anyone’s world.  You don’t shut down.  You open up.  You don’t get angry.  You get curious.  Your light is not dim when things are tricky.  You are brighter every day.

Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being amazing.  Thank you for being my anchor.  Who I am at 34 years old is so wrapped up in who you are and in who we are to each other and it is the greatest gift I’ve ever received.








hey babe (15).


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I can’t believe this is the first blog post I’m writing so far this year.  It’s almost June!  This spring has been a whirlwind of school and daycare and work and wedding preparation.

We decided to start sending you to daycare…  we call it “school”…  a few months ago and it’s been a difficult transition for you.  Some days are better than others but overall it’s not your favorite thing to do.  You have fun once you’re there, but you’re very attached to us and would rather stay home and play.  You’re only there two days a week but in some ways I think that’s made the transition harder.

In two months you’ll turn 3 and this fall you’ll go to a montessori school!  We’re very excited that you got in (you did so well at your interview!) and we think the montessori style will be perfect for you.  You’re very independent and curious and we know it will be a solid foundation for your education.

Instead of taking two courses last semester, I opted for one so that I wasn’t too overwhelmed leading up to the the wedding.  Unfortunately that means I couldn’t graduate in May and will need to either test out of the final course (by taking the CLEP exam) or take it this summer so I can graduate in August.  The end is sooo close I can feel it.  It was always a goal of mine to finish school before you started and it looks as though that will still happen.

Your dad and I have talked about me getting my MBA but decided two of us in school at the same time is a pretty stressful way to live and maybe it’s best to hold off for now.  He still has two years left in his doctoral program in physical therapy and is now talking about staying on another 18 months for his PhD.  This would give him the option of teaching at the college level if that was ever something he wanted to do later in life.  He’s so smart and such an excellent student.  I’m proud of him.

You are 29 pounds and so tall for your age!  Your vocabulary is off the charts.  You talk a million miles a minute and have been since you turned two.  Two and a half, however, saw a huge leap in your words and sentences.  You ask us questions and tell us stories and understand so much of what we tell you.  Last night you were getting ready to go upstairs for bedtime and your pacis (yes…  you still use them at night…) were on the kitchen counter.  You asked me why they were there and I told you I washed them for you.  You said, “Oh!  Thank you mom for washing my pacis!”  We just shake our heads at how smart and quick you are.  When we run into strangers at the grocery store or playground they say, “How old are you?”  and you say, “Two and a half!”  You also tell people your full name when they ask, “Moses Lee-Jennings Nelson”.

You’re not in love with the pets.  They’re more of a nuisance to you than anything.  I’m guessing you get that from your dad.  You love balloons.  We currently have a giant mylar fire truck in our family room that cost $10.  Your dad can’t say no.  Neither of us can.  You also love puzzles, books, “cooking” and the playground.

At night you sleep with about 6 stuffed animals all around you and you ask us to cover them up when we’re tucking you in.  You love to sing and you’re not afraid of anything.  Except hand driers.  And haircuts.

Your dad and I got married a few weeks ago in the park and had a little lunch reception afterward with family.  You weren’t thrilled with the whole experience.  When you saw me getting my hair done you screamed, “I don’t like you fancy!”  Fair enough.  I don’t usually either.

You also had a meltdown as I was coming down the aisle so I had to pick you up and hold you at the alter while Papa gave his sermon.  Poor Moose.  You just like things to be normal and routined.  That day was anything but.

We went on a honeymoon in Asheville for a few days and you stayed with your grandparents (Grandma and Grandpa Nelson first and then Nanny and Papa) and you did really well.  They kept you busy and you only asked about us once.  When we came home you said excitedly, “You came back!” and hugged us both and then asked, “You were at Honey Hut???”

For those of you who don’t know…  Honey Hut is a local ice cream shop.  He had been to Honey Hut while we were gone and someone had told him we were on our “honeymoon”.  Hence the confusion.

We’re looking forward to this summer with you.  Your dad has six weeks off.  There will be trips to the farm and perhaps some time at the lake house in Michigan.  We didn’t go last year as we went to St. Augustine instead.  It’s always fun to kayak and swim and relax up there.  Your dad has joked that he’ll need to get a job.  Six weeks without school is a long time!  I assured him we’ll have plenty to do.

There are days were you test the limits of my patience with your almost-three-year-old logic and your independence and opinions (sometimes shouted) but then you wrap your arms around my leg and say, “Awww…  I love you mom!”…  or I ask you how you are and you say, “I feel great!”…  or you run and “crash me” in a fit of giggles… and I am so overwhelmed with how special you are and how blessed I am to be your mom.

Right now you’re on a toddler journey and it’s a roller coaster ride with the most beautiful, wild and crazy dips and twists.  We’re buckling up and throwing our hands in the air because with you, everything is an adventure.

I love you.


hey babe (14).

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You turned two in August, your dad started his second semester of PT school, and we thought about sending you to daycare two days a week but chose to hold off.  I arranged my schedule at work so I have more consistency and specific days to do specific things.  It’s brought structure to my week and helps with knowing when I need my mom and Lauren to watch you while I’m away.

My full-time program ended a few weeks ago and I’m now on winter break but in January I’ll need to take two final classes to earn my bachelor’s degree.  It’s been a long road.  My first college class was in 2000 and my last will be in 2015.  Although I don’t particularly recommend taking the long way ’round, I also recognize it was a scenic way to travel and I choose to honor my path and not live in regret.  It feels surreal being just around the corner from my destination.  It was hard and it wasn’t.  It took me many years – off and on – to get here but it was also manageable and it’s almost over and I’m proud of myself and I didn’t do it alone.  I’ve been lucky because I’ve had support in many forms – angels and cheerleaders and gift-givers and paper editors and baby-watchers…  a small camp of ‘yes you can’ers”.  I believed them all mostly and sometimes didn’t but, in the end, they were right.  I can.  I am.  And I will.

It’s Christmas in less than two weeks and we just put up our tiny, fake tree a couple of days ago.  Each day we’ve been opening the doors of your first advent calendar and you clasp your hands together with anticipation while we check to see which shape the tiny chocolate is in…  a star!  a train!  OH…  a bear!  You exclaim excitedly when you pick it up and then run off to eat it.

Two has brought tantrums and opinions and telling me, “Stop!”  or “Go in the kitchen!” (?!?)  It’s only a little bit funny.  Mostly I try to remember it’s a phase and breathe and keep on.  You spend time in a ‘time out’ chair now but we think you like it there so I’m not sure how effective it is.  Recently I asked you, “Do you want to sit in time out?” and you responded, “Yes!”  I think you’re winning…

I honestly do get irritated at times but at the end of the day I have to remind myself of who’s kid you are.  Did I actually think I would have a kid who didn’t have opinions or a strong will or an “I’ll do it myself!” attitude?  Let’s get real.  And truthfully, you’re the sweetest and gentlest little guy around.  But you’re two.  TWO.

We tell you all the time that you’re too smart.  You say and do all kinds of funny and clever things and it keeps us sharing stories constantly.  “You won’t believe what Mo said today…”  I wish I could tell story after story here of some of the top hits but it’s truly hard to remember!  There are too many and they’re too frequent to list.

You love trains and puzzles (24 piece ones are your favorite right now), and chicken nuggets and apple sauce and your new favorite book is “Where the Wild Things Are”.  You tell us you “Wuv” us and chatter about “giants and bean stocks and Grandpa Nelson and ghosts and halloween”.  Halloween was such a smash hit that we still haven’t heard the end of it.  You were a dinosaur this year and we took you to Boo At The Zoo.  You ate a bag of donuts and walked around like you owned the place while everyone pointed and laughed and told us how adorable you were.

2015 is going to bring the big ‘3’ and another fun spring, summer and fall.  It will also bring preschool and tricycle riding and fun at the beach.  I’ll graduate and your dad and I will get married and we’ll grow more as people and as a family.  I think this year has been the best yet in so many ways.  It’s been tough to juggle work and school and family but it’s also been productive, interesting and fulfilling.  It’s been worth it all.

I love you and I love getting to know you as you grow.  I looked over at you the other day while you were in your car seat.  Your leg was slung over the side of the chair and you were looking out the window thoughtfully.  I thought, “That’s Mo.  Two going on thirty.”  You’ve always been cool and you’ve always been funny and you’ve always been wise beyond your years.  You’re a soulful little being with a giant heart and I want to be just like you when I grow up.

Hugga Mugga, Mosi…  and Merry Christmas.