ordinary miracle.

Staycation is over; my new job starts tomorrow (I’m excited!). And while I grumble over the remaining items on the L&K bucket list and my incomplete to-do list, I know in my heart we did all we could and lived this week fully and without regrets. Throughout the week as we played, shopped, accomplished and loved, a song kept repeating in my head. It’s one that unexpectedly became the theme of the week, and its purpose will stay with me forever. (My guess it that it will also bring me to tears each time I hear it … because I’m just a sap like that!) This week was so much better than I could have imagined, simply because I was made to see the beauty in the everyday. And these two little people? They fill my days with countless ordinary miracles. For them I am so very thankful, and so full of love.

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Life is not perfect; it’s filled with good, bad, happy and sad. And this week was no exception. Despite life’s highs and lows, I will try my best to appreciate the beauty in it all, simply because life is a whole lot better as a series of ordinary miracles than just a series of ordinary days.

My hope for you is that you also find a way to see the ordinary miracles in your ordinary days; not only for you, but for those around you. You’re worth it, and they are, too!

“It’s not that unusual // When everything is beautiful // It’s just another ordinary miracle today.”
– Ordinary Miracle by Sarah McLachlan

(If you haven’t heard the song, here are links for you! It’s worth a listen … I promise! And if you’ve seen Charlotte’s Web, you might recognize it … the song was in that movie!)

Lyrics     |     YouTube video

project 365: catching up on june

You know how it goes – there’s something you’ve tried to do time and time again, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to make it work. That was my project 365. I failed to complete it time and time again. I’d venture to say I started maybe 6 times … and failed 6 times.

But this time? Nope, I’ve done better! I started on May 25, 2013 and am still shooting a photo a day, every day! I’ll be honest – some days I just don’t have it in me, but I shoot anyway. They’re not all fabulous, and I’m totally okay with that. I’ve captured more moments than I would have otherwise, and I’ve learned a lot along the way.

I’m now thinking through whether or not I should continue, and until I make that decision for sure, I’ll carry on. It’s been tough finding the time to edit lately, so I’m picking some favorites and sharing them here. Without further ado, some favorites from the month of June … so far!

2014.06.10 | after the game …
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2014.06.09 | howdy, howdy cow!
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2014.06.08 | he made it rain.
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2014.06.04 | soccer’s done!
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2014.06.01 | puzzling.
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shoot!

It was a normal Friday night for us. Dinner from one of our favorites – this time, Dominic’s. A few chores inside and outside the house, and as always, some FUN! Let’s just say we all ended up soaked … and dirty! Shoot!

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letters to our sons: june ’14

Little Man/Kaden K/Brother Bear,

I still can’t believe I agreed. He had been joking about it for months – the “number three.” I joked right along with him and silently said a little prayer, hoping he wouldn’t actually do what we’d teased about for so long. And then Father’s Day came along, and you guessed it … he asked for one thing and one thing only. I thought about it long and hard. Everything in me wanted to dismiss it, but it just didn’t feel right to be so cold to the man I’ve loved so dearly for the past 12 years. So I asked, “Do you still want to do this knowing how badly I don’t want to do it?” His answer?

“Yes.”

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Well okay then.

After dinner, I got everything ready. I prepared the “things” as well as my mind and my emotions. Sure, it’s no big deal. But to me, it is. To me, it’s a defining part of who you are. And as I dropped your perfect curls to the ground, I was sad. It wasn’t just your hair; there were memories there. Part of your character. Your spunk. Your attitude.

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Now 5 days later, I know you’re unchanged inside. You look older. You look like a handsome little boy. My handsome little boy. But I still stand by what I said – never again. Dada got his way, but only this time. From here on out, it’s my call. As long as those sweet little curls come back once again … they better come back again.

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Enjoy your cool summer, bro. You may look different on the outside, but you’re still the crazy brother bear we love oh so much! And don’t worry … it’ll grow back!

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All my love,
MaMum

Now, please visit Katie’s blog to see what the past month has had in store – she’s got a fabulous letter to her son!!!

LeslieJune 25, 2014 - 10:46 am

Oh my goodness, I got tears in my eyes looking at your photos. I know all to well the precious little boy curls and the power that the scissors carry. Your little guy looks so sweet, and I’m sure it is just the first of many summer hair cuts. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the curls reappear too!

I am not a runner …

… but when is it that someone who runs becomes a “runner?” Because I am not a runner … but I run. And I enjoy it.

I’ve been on a mission to start living healthier and so far, I’m succeeding. I’ve also set a weight loss target that is the upper edge of the range in which I’d like to be, and I’m 40% there. It’s a pretty awesome feeling!

Of course the living healthier part is the most important part, and that’s a forever goal. For me, living healthier means exercise. Going. Moving. I so desperately needed to start moving, and since the middle of February, I’ve spent 29.5 hours doing so. A few of those hours have been spent running on weekends … and some random weeknights when I have a chance. And I’m beginning to like it so much again that I’m thinking about how to make running work more regularly during the week. I’ve done several outdoor runs over the past couple of months, and while some have been more difficult than others,  all in all they’ve been lots of fun!

  • 3/8 – 2.9 miles (pace: 13:06)
  • 3/10 – 1.5 miles (pace: 18:37 … pushing 50 lbs. of boy + stroller + hills … long, steep hills)
  • 3/15 – 3.7 miles (pace: 16:08 with boy + stroller + hills)
  • 3/22 – 3.9 miles (pace: 13:03)
  • 4/5 – 1.8 miles (pace: 12:13)
  • 4/6 – 3.0 miles (pace: 14:23 with boy + stroller + hills)
  • 4/12 – 2.8 miles (pace: 15:12 with boy + stroller + hills)
  • 4/14 – 3.5 miles (pace: 12:45)
  • 4/19 – 4.3 miles (pace: 11:58)
  • 4/20 – 3.2 miles (pace: 11:48)

I recognize that those are not great distances nor times, by any means, but not bad for a start from just about nothing in the past couple of years, huh?

So I ask, when does someone who runs become a runner? Because I feel like I’m making my way there. Slowly but surely. And with a big smile on my face.

AmandaApril 24, 2014 - 1:49 pm

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you’re a runner.

1. Have you ever shoved a key in your sports bra because you have no other place to put it?
2. Have you ever searched Pintrest for running motivation?
3. Have you ever eaten a big meal and said it’s okay because you ran today?
4. Have you ever hung a pair of running tights on a door knob to let the sweat dry knowing you fully intend to wear those tights again tomorrow?
5. Have you searched itunes for the latest dance hits for your running playlist? (Shameful, I know. But we all do it.)
6. Are you a running blog junkie? (MilePosts, Jess Runs and Hungry Runner Girl are my favorites.)

Actually, it doesn’t matter. If you run, you’re a runner. Miss you lots, Min. Enjoy the miles.

letters to our sons: march ’14

Little Man/Kaden K/Brother Bear,

My sweet, sweet guy. It’s been a rough couple of months for us, and you’ve been very much included in that roughness! This past weekend, you got hit with the stomach bug, but it was not like any stomach bug we had ever seen. The first two days we weren’t sure what was going on, but we knew for sure that you were sick on Monday morning when you were super snuggly.

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I felt terrible for you, and at the same time, I loved every second that I spent with you. Neither you nor your sister have been snugglers, so I cherished every moment! (I cherished them so much that I didn’t even want to disturb you to get my camera … so you’ve got iPhone photos this month! And don’t tell Lil, but we ‘borrowed’ her Hello Kitty blanket!)

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I was also happy to see you feeling better mid-day … the more Cheerios you ate and the more Pedialyte you drank, the happier I became!

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Luckily, after your snack and a few more hours of snuggling and cuddling, you were back on the mend.

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I hope this next month is easier on all of us, little guy. I hope spring finally decides to greet us, because I know we’re all longing for some time outside and some fresh air!!!

All my love,
MaMum (If you call me what your sister does!)

Next up, my dear friend Jacqui! Please visit her blog next and continue along in our circle!

LoriMarch 22, 2014 - 4:24 pm

Hope you feel better soon! I hate it when they are sick. Such a long winter this year!

letters to our daughters: february ’14

My sweet Lily,

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Wow, what an exciting month we’ve had! It started with something not so fun – an ear infection for you. It’s hard on your MaMum and Dada, and we know it’s just as hard on you. We just want to make you better!

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You went to your second movie this month, too! I took you on a date to see ‘Frozen,’ and do you know what made you most excited? You stayed awake the whole time! Silly girl! We had fun – enjoyed popcorn, a giant soda, and candy, too! When we go on dates, we do them right!

We had more snow than I even want to think about. You enjoyed watching it fall and of course playing in it, but Dada and I certainly didn’t enjoy shoveling it, driving in it, or cleaning off the car and truck time and time again! What we did enjoy, though, was an unseasonably warm day – a chance to get outside without coats and enjoy the squishy ground – squishy, of course, because of the melting snow!!!

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Another fun result of the snow was … a snow day! With 16 inches in the first round and another 3 inches with round two, we chose not to venture out to work, and your school was closed for the day. While Dada and Kaden went to shovel Brum Brum & P-Pa’s driveway in the afternoon, you and I had some fun indoors with the gorgeous snow light! In true you fashion, you had done your hair and had nearly a dozen barrettes in your messy hair. You go, girl!

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And though I didn’t take my camera out on our field trip adventure to see ‘Disney on Ice,’ my iPhone pictures and the memories I have are close to my heart. We had so much fun on the bus, your excitement as you saw ‘the city’ is a memory I won’t ever forget, and that sno cone that sent you to the bathroom 3 times (Hopefully you won’t remember us using the men’s bathroom!) gave you the bluest lips and tongue I’ve ever seen!

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I hope the month ahead brings a few warm days, little lady. I know how much you enjoy being outside, and I want nothing more than to see a big, giant smile on your sweet face!

I love you so, so much.
MaMum

Next, please visit Amber’s blog … see what memories she captured in the past month!

Amber ThorntonFebruary 17, 2014 - 1:12 pm

That pale blond hair reminds me of my daughter at that age! Sure hope it warms up for you. I don’t do well in cold weather at all.

LisaFebruary 18, 2014 - 10:43 am

Love the Disney on Ice ones for the moment captured. Others are pretty good too. :) Hope it warms up a bit for you, I’m done with winter, that’s for sure!

Lori AFebruary 18, 2014 - 1:43 pm

Beautiful photos Mindy. I hate when they are sick!

JenniferFebruary 19, 2014 - 9:59 pm

Mindy, this is such a sweet letter. You guys have been busy! I love the last one of you and her. Its adorable!

NicoleFebruary 20, 2014 - 11:52 am

Mindy, it sounds like you guys had quite the month! I love your winter light images…the light is pretty and her hair is adorable! She is such a cutie! Glad you got to come to the big city for Disney on Ice too :) I’m sure she loved it as much as my kiddos did!

letters to our sons: january ’14

Little Man/Kaden K/Brother Bear,

It’s the little things that mean the most – looking back on photographs of you and your sister always brings back so many memories … as if I’m still in that moment with you. Reading through old blog posts about some of our adventures warms my heart. Equally as fun is remembering the little things you’ve done (Like how you come running at the first sound of bath water!), words you’ve said first, and the silly names you’ve given to everyday objects.

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And while you aren’t big enough to string words together, little man, you are using your first words. Here’s what you’re saying now, just shy of 16 months old:

  • dada
  • mama (or mamamamamama)
  • mommy (momeeeeeee)
  • lily (eee-yee)
  • hi
  • bye
  • meow (eow)
  • banana (nana)
  • ball
  • abue (a Spanish slang for grandmother)
  • happy (haaaa-ppy)
  • the sound your sister’s ponies make (errher)
  • thank you (da doo)
  • up
  • no
  • whoa
  • wow
  • wheeeee
  • milk (As of yesterday … yay!)
  • more (We’ve been trying to teach you the sign for ‘more’ … and within the past week, you’ve started using the sign and saying the word together! We love it!)
  • done (You also do the sign for this one! Communicating with you is so awesome!)

Of course, right now most everything is “eh, eh, eh, eh, eh” until we get it for you. As your mama, I’m SO glad you’re mixing words in there. It’s so helpful in figuring out what it is you want! The one thing we know is when you want your milk, because you’ll walk over to the refrigerator and pull on the door while saying your usual “eh, eh, eh.” If there’s one thing you love, it’s your milk!

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You’ve been sick for the past few days, and with that, super snuggly. And yes, I’ve been loving every second of that! We’re so hoping you recover soon – we hate to see you hurting! And for the record, this time around you’ve got RSV and an ear infection. Your first trip to urgent care is in the books, my little one!

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Another thing that makes me laugh (Which I didn’t manage to capture this month.) is how you handle your dog-brother Huckleberry. If you don’t want him around you, you just wave your hand at him. Sometimes your swing hits him, and other times he just gets the point and goes on about his business. And there are other times that you’ve got food and he won’t back down until he’s stolen it from you. And when he knocks you over? Oh the screams you direct his way! Poor Huck!

We are loving watching you grow, little man. The next year or so will be my most favorite – you’ll learn so much and grow in such amazing ways. I am loving this journey we are on together – this wild ride as a family!

All my love,
MaMum (If you call me what your sister does!)

Next up, the sweet Anna! Please visit her blog next and continue along in our circle!

JacquiJanuary 17, 2014 - 10:40 am

He’s getting quite the vocabulary! I love the pictures from the Drs office. Feel better soon, Kaden!

chrissyJanuary 17, 2014 - 5:36 pm

love that you also documented his words-what a great idea! beautiful job

Beth AlonMarch 4, 2014 - 8:46 pm

This just brought me back to when all three of my kids were around this age and signing and talking…and the trips to the ER with my son! Beautiful post!

letters to our daughters: january ’14

My sweet Lily,

About this time 4 years ago, we started to notice that you were a daddy’s girl. You’d run to Dada when you fell down and were hurt. You’d want Dada to hold you, fix things, and get things for you. And I’ll admit it – I was a little disappointed. Okay, maybe a lot disappointed. But I held on to hope. So many people told me that you’d come around – that my day would come. The day when you not only thought the world of your Dada, but your MaMum, too.

Well my little lady, they were right. You have come around, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! It’s the little moments we share that I cherish. The times that we spend knocking each other over with the cushions from your chair. The dates we go on to Walmart … with a stop at McDonald’s because you’re suddenly so hungry for chicken nuggets and french fries. The Equestria Girls dance parties we have in the car on the way to preschool. The times when you act silly … and I totally play along. You’ll learn one of these days that my soul is still about 4 years old, too!

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Last night before your bath was one of those silly moments when we were crazy together. And I was so happy to have my camera in the bathroom with me! They’re not perfect – some are blurry, there are distractions in the background, and the lighting isn’t quite right. But you know what? I don’t care.

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I don’t care because what I see is a daughter who loves her MaMum. I see the joy we shared, and I’m so thankful that I get to share these incredibly silly moments with you!

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So yes, I put the OCD part of me aside, ignored my instinct to get the “perfect” settings, and just enjoyed the moment.

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Looking back, I’m so glad I did.

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And by the way, it doesn’t matter how many times we wash them, how hard we scrub, or how recently you’ve taken a bath, those feet and armpits will always be sooooo stinky!

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I love you so, so much.
MaMum

Next, please visit Lisa’s blog … her daughter is 4 years old, too, and completely adorable!

JessicaJanuary 15, 2014 - 1:06 pm

These are adorable, Mindy!! I too see a little girl who loves her mom, but I also see a great mom who obviously loves her daughter with all of her heart. You have given her such a gift with these pictures and this letter!

mindy b.January 15, 2014 - 1:19 pm

XOXO … thank you Jessica!

LoriJanuary 15, 2014 - 9:26 pm

I love this letter Mindy! I think our kids remind us that it is ok to be silly!

NicoleJanuary 15, 2014 - 9:45 pm

Mindy, I just adore these images! You are both so beautiful and look like you are having a blast! Getting in the frame more is a goal of mine this year <3

LisaJanuary 16, 2014 - 4:48 pm

OH MY I love these! These are perfect, love how you are in them and love the moment you’ve captured.

day 13 | the look of rsv.

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day 13 | 1/13/14
The look of RSV.

Poor little guy. We were lucky we got him in early and were able to avoid more extreme treatment – just some steroids to open his airways and an antibiotic for his ear infection. Lucky!

day 7 | the man with the milk.

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day 7 | 1/7/14
The man with the milk.

This little guy can drink some milk. Nearly 2 gallons per week, in fact. Alone. I’ve called him my “milk man” since I found out he was a boy, and he’s certainly lived up to that nickname! Now, I tell him he’s my “man with the milk.” Chances are, I’m right!