Tuesday, February 24, 2015

If I just breathe...

Tonight, sharing the words of one of the many, many, many people who have said the things I think, but more beautifully and more succinctly and with perfection. Happens all the time...

... so, yeah, parenting is hard & beautiful,
and very, very hard & very, very beautiful
and sometimes you just get down on the floor & weep 
& there's no shame in it 
-- tears just saying we're loving deep.

Parenting is hard, not because we're getting it wrong, 
but because we're getting to do holy work
 -- holy work *is* hard work.

That's the miracle of parenting: 

labor never stops & we never stop having to remember to breathe. 
And even the sound of our breathing is saying His name - YHWH.
And all the parents exhaled... and our every breath calls for You to come, Lord, please come -- Come help us to labor over these beloved children, that they'd deliver into the wide expanse of Your fulfilling grace -- 
& never forget their name: Beloved.


Oh, this amazing work that we do as mothers, as parents, as aunts and uncles and Bubbies and Zaydies and Nans and Pops- trying to impart just a tiny bit of the things we know to these little ones in our hands. The mistakes are tattooed on our hearts and the wins are like band-aids. All we can do is try, and love our babies even when it's hard. These lovely words will be with me for a while, and I am so thankful to have stumbled upon them...







Welcome to Time for Mom!

Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!  We are here to build a community of mom bloggers and get to know each other!



Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

Larisha @ We're Parents

Brie @ {...a breezy life}

Melissa @ Two Miracles




And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!





Follow Rachel B // Cant Google Everything's board Time for Mom Superstars on Pinterest.











Every week each of the co-hosts picks a blogger to feature from the week before! Check out our picks from last week's link up!




-Baby Signs by F is for Family
-Which Cooking Oil Should You Use by Making More
-Funky Pallet Side Table by Scrapality
-Island Breeze Smoothie by West Coast Mama




Thanks for linking up!  By linking up  with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and  giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our  weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we  use your image when we feature you!



Be sure to say "hi" if it's your first time linking up!



























Monday, February 23, 2015

My feelings swell and stretch...

Today was a very Monday-ish Monday. 
It kind of felt like yesterday was Monday and 
Since two Mondays in a row would be a horrible idea that
 should give you some insight into my mood. 
I did not get a spot on the Listen To Your Mother Show.
This was not a shock and was merely a scratch 
on this rash of a day. 
Auditioning was a fantastic experience and there is always next year. 
PJ was tired this morning. 
There wasn't much fire in him today and somehow, 
  that bums me out more than when he's all fire
I think a good nights sleep will fix that, along with 
 a return to the routine the long weekend/snow interrupted.
We are trying to have PJ's ABA therapy re-instated
 after a horrible experience that caused us to end our relationship
 with the agency we had previously used. 
Now, we are back in the Spiral of Rediculousness that is 
 dealing with the insurance company. 
The back and forth of trying to figure out
who is in network
who is not
who has the information regarding either of the former
and how this will all lead to a point where we have
correct
consistant 
therapy for PJ.  
It's something that I truly don't feel like
we should have to dig and dig and dig for
before we hit the treasure box. 
That's what causes the rash on my Monday.
I was hoping for a better start to the week 
after a rough last one. 
And thankfully, it is only Monday. 
The only Monday. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Just a day...

{blurbs}

...had an amazing, yet harrowing experience with my friend Mary Beth yesterday, as we traveled to South Orange, NJ to audition for Listen To Your Mother, an amazing show put on in nearly 40 cities featuring women reading their original writings. While I certainly don't think I will earn a spot in the 2015 cast, it was a great experience to have the chance to read in front of an audience. Of all the times I have been on stage, this is the first time that I had to be myself, not a character. I enjoyed the chance to be vulnerable in that way. The not-so-fun part? Braving the New Jersey Turnpike through a snowstorm, which stretched an hour and a half drive to nearly four. Oy, vey.

...the weather was vastly improved today, with the sun shining as we said goodbye to a very dear family friend. Jerry and his wife Sandy have been close friends of my aunt forever- I have known them all of my life. Jerry is a sweet guy, funny and kind and a huge fan of the Flyers. We would discuss them often via Facebook over the past few years. Jerry had been battling a number of health problems and finally succumbed a few days ago. I am so, so sorry to see him leave this life, but hope he is moving on to his next adventure in peace, happy that the Flyers won two in a row this weekend.

...with my neighbors becoming increasingly annoying and the desire to move PJ to a new school district looming, Pete and I are talking house a little more seriously than we have before. We still have no idea where we want to go, but we know we gots to get. I'll be sad to leave this sweet little place where we began our marriage and brought PJ home, but it's time to grow and stretch a bit.

...I can barely believe that March is right around the corner. The weather this weekend would make me think that spring will never get here, but the calendar doesn't lie, and it is finally starting to feel like this dreadful weather will end if I just wait a little longer.

...PJ is all registered for Spring Soccer and we are so excited! This will be his third session and we are so thankful for this opportunity for him! Adding to the fun, two of his classmates and two of his cheer teammates will also be playing! The kids will have fun, and the mama nonsense on the sidelines will be epic. It's times like this that I don't know what I would do without all of the beauty that PJ's diagnosis of Autism has brought us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Full of broken thoughts I cannot repair...

{stream of consciousness}

Autism can rear it's head at the most inconvenient times, none so much as at a family gathering to celebrate the birthday of my niece.

Newly 11 and lovely as can be, Riley is one of the best kids I have ever met. PJ adores her. We arrived at the party with a bag filled with UnderArmor and birthday wishes for this beautiful girl.

The kids (all 9 cousins, ages 1-13) played, presents were opened, and soon enough dinner was ready to be served. PJ might have been fine with dinner had he not spied the cupcakes, but once they were in his vision it was all he wanted. Lasagna and sausage, usually a favorite, were rejected as he repeatedly asked for a cupcake. His request became more and more urgent and a few minutes later, he was in Complete System Failure, punching my arms and pulling my hair while he sobbed and gasped for air. I walked him out of the dining room to the hall, trying to contain his flailing limbs and calm with with deep, firm hugs.

PJ's face was filled with sadness. I can never pinpoint his exact emotions, but he looked exhausted and frustrated. If a limb came free from my arms, he used it to pull my hair or hit. We danced the dance for nearly twenty minutes before he finally calmed down. We made a deal: Walk like a big boy into the dining room, and ask Aunt Shelly nicely for a PB & J. If he did that and ate it, he could have a cupcake. With a wavery voice, still tearful and congested, he did just that. The rest of the evening continued without indecent. He inhaled his sandwich, he sang Happy Birthday with glee, and helped his beloved cousin blow out her candles. I downed a beer, chatted with family, and tried to fix the piece of me that breaks every time my baby loses control.

It might sound strange to say but, most of the time, Autism isn't even on my radar. Of course we deal with school and therapies and such, but most of the time I am just drinking in my son. I forget that our reality is sometimes much different from other families until PJ has a meltdown in a different setting. Then the reality train comes screeching into the station. Watching a child struggle is hard. Watching the child that you love more than anything that has ever been or will be is torture. His father and I do everything we can to try to settle his uneasy little body but, sometimes, it just doesn't seem like enough.

It was a tough day. The tough ones can sometimes act as smokescreens, making me forget that so much of our time is good and fun and easy and bright. Today PJ went to school with a smile. He played in the snow with his Daddy and ate every bite of chicken on his plate. He ate ice cream we made from snow and watched cat videos on YouTube, laughing so hard that no sound came from his mouth. He asked for "fast kisses" from Mommy and Daddy- kisses to be delivered in rapid-fire succession on his cheeks from both of us simultaneously. This version is my son, just as the angry, unsettled version from last night is my son, and I love them both to the moon and back.




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ooooooooo, you're my best friend.

My cat, Gordie, was already almost ten years old when PJ was born. I got her when I was in college and living with my college boyfriend, a doomed relationship that only lasted another year or so after we acquired our fur-baby.

I got Gordie in the break-up, and she has been my companion for nearly 15 years now. She was there well before Pete and certainly before PJ, and now, PJ seems to think she is his cat. Once he was old enough to notice, she became his instant buddy.

 Gordie is not a friendly cat. She's the type of cat who loves her owner and tolerates other people. Barely. She loathes my friend Adam for some reason. She will flat out growl at him. She's not really the type of cat that you can pet or snuggle or glance at or be nice to. She's a grouchy girl, that Gordie. Her namesake is Gordie Howe, the legendary Detroit Red Wing's great (and my dad's hero) and she is a tough as he is! Tough, but not super friendly.

PJ can sometimes snuggle her with a little too much force, and I have waited for a hiss or a snap or a scratch, but for some reason, she patiently takes all of PJ's abuse  love. He uses her as a pillow, touches her nose, and cuddles with a little more aggression love than I would like. But no matter what PJ dishes out, Gordie takes it all in stride, and it warms my cold little heart to see my "first baby" and my human son fill each other with love.





Gordie is 15. I got her as a tiny little kitten in 1999 when I was in Erie, away at college and living with a boyfriend that wasn't going to be a part of my future. It feel like another lifetime, and yet, she's here with me in my very real lifetime, with my husband and my son. PJ doesn't have any siblings, but I was able to give him a friend anyway. I worry a little because Gordie's age is starting to show. If she gets into PJ's glass of milk it makes her barf and she's getting a little frail and skinny. But old or not, she's my son's favorite furry friend.








Welcome to Time for Mom!

Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!  We are here to build a community of mom bloggers and get to know each other!



Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

Larisha @ We're Parents

Brie @ {...a breezy life}

Melissa @ Two Miracles




And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!





Follow Rachel B // Cant Google Everything's board Time for Mom Superstars on Pinterest.











Every week each of the co-hosts picks a blogger to feature from the week before! Check out our picks from last week's link up!





  • 10 Educational Apps for Preschoolers

  • DIY Heart Shaped Crayons

  • Captain America Shield

  • White Hot Chocolate with Heart Marshmallows





  • Thanks for linking up!  By linking up  with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and  giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our  weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we  use your image when we feature you!



    Be sure to say "hi" if it's your first time linking up!



    Monday, February 16, 2015

    Yeah, you know me...

    We are 3/4 of the way through a 4-day weekend, and today was the first we have ventured outside since Thursday. In fact, PJ and I didn't wear real clothes for two straight days (although I did make him wear fresh jammies when he woke up and after his bath). We are having insanely cold weather in these parts, and hunkering down inside seemed like the only proper response to Mother Nature.

    Today, we had a great reason to get up and move- a birthday party for a friend of PJ's, the son of my sweet friend Christine. Christine and I were set up on a "blind date" buy a mutual therapist of our kids (Hi, Jen!) and hit it off right away. I am so thankful for her amazing encouragement and glad that our boys have so much in common! So the plan was to gather up our gifts and venture out into the freeeeeeeeezing weather, headed towards a local bounce place to fete our buddy Nicky.

    But we were late. Why? Because PJ did not want to wear a shirt.

    I shit you not. Ten minutes before we were going to walk out the door into the 12 degree day, PJ had a full on, teary, meltdown of a tantrum because he did not want to wear a shirt. It wasn't because he didn't like the shirt I picked, it wasn't because he wanted to keep his jammies on. He just didn't want to wear a shirt. At all.

    Clothes are not usually something I pick a fight over. I try to choose my battles and they don't include PJ's clothes matching. But I do insist that what he does wear is weather-appropriate and, you know, that he actually wear clothing. The more I tried to gently explain that he needed to wear a shirt, that it was very cold, that he couldn't bounce without a shirt on, the more his tantrum tipped over into Complete System Meltdown.

    The time to leave came and went, with the car warming up uselessly outside. Finally, I could feel my frustration getting the best of me. I could feel tears in my eyes as PJ eventually deigned to put on a shirt with appropriate sleeves and we headed out the door. Nicky's gift was thrown into a gift bag and I discovered his card upon our return. PJ was bundled up but I forgot to put on a coat. What I'm trying to say is, we weren't at our best.

    We got in the car and as I struggled to get my temper in check I did the only thing I knew would help- I put on the Beastie Boys channel on Pandora and rocked out. It wasn't my best parenting move. This channel often highlights the type of music that would give Tipper Gore a stroke. Here's a sampling of the musical stylings that permeated the car:

    Yup. Mother of the Year right here. RIP Tupac. 

    It wasn't my best move, but it worked. By the time we pulled into the parking lot I felt my tension melt, and I was ready to join the party (albeit late) and watch PJ have a blast. He did, of course, have a blast, bouncing around like a pinball on crack. He ate pizza and cheese curls, sang "Happy Birthday" with enthusiasm, and came home in a tired (but far more pleasant) mood.

    It made me think of the lifelines we sometimes have to throw to ourselves when we parent these bright, amazing, strong willed babies of ours. I know that I make a serious, concerted effort to match my responses to PJ's occasional nonsense in the most appropriate, responsible way possible. This means keeping my calm when he pulls my hair out by the handful, or not taking the bait when he throws my coffee across the room (has totally happened). It's up to me to try and be an example of what it's like to be on our best behavior. Try being the operative word of course because, sometimes, the only thing that will soothe my frazzled nerves is the lead singer of Cypress Hill crooning "Do you wanna get hiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh?"

    Yes, I felt some shame. But I also felt better. I'm going to call it a wash and remember that most of time, I can be the parent I want to be.

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Excuse me, but can I be you for a while?


    (sponsored) A few weeks ago, I had fun playing with the One Day- Instant Movie Maker app on my iPhone. Super simple and fun to use, One Day takes movie clips recorded on your phone and weaves them together with music and graphics to create a short movie! It is perfect for putting together a sweet Valentine's Day movie for your honey, or shoot some footage of your little one to send to the grandparents. It's so easy, I was able to make this video even though my hair looked terrible!

    I made my One Day movie on my iPhone, but fear not, Android users! The One Day app is now available to you! Just download it from the Google Play store for free! Then you can use the app to make a movie about awesome free stuff is!

    Enjoy the One Day app!

    ************

    {stream of consciousness} 

    You all should know that every time I do one of these posts, I misspell consciousness. 

    Anyway. 

    Today was a lazy day for PJ and I, much needed because he capped a busy week with an all-night party Wednesday night. We woke up at 1:30 asking to "go to the living room, please" and we pretty much up and at 'em for the rest of the night. Needless to say, it made for an interesting Thursday. Thankfully, it's a four-day weekend and we celebrated by sleeping until 8:30 this morning and staying in our pajamas all day. In fact, when I tried to get PJ dress, he went back into his room and got out fresh pajamas. 

    Okay, then. 

    There are a million things I should have been doing. I could have been cleaning, doing laundry, writing, catching up on e-mail, filling out the forms to have PJ's ABA therapy re-started with a new agency. I managed to cook dinner, but nothing else really got done. PJ and I played with Lego's, watched movies, and putzed around the apartment. Today was a much needed lazy day, but it made me think about my ability to follow through on things. It's terrible. I am a whiz at starting things and not finishing them, and I have no idea where that came from. 

    There have been countless days in which I have woken up and the declared that very day to be the one in which I get myself together- keep a neat home, write every day, stick to healthy eating and exercise, and work- really work- on my marriage. I usually make it until 3. 

    I have no idea what that's about. I have a mild theory that it's due to my distaste for doing anything I'm not naturally good at. I gave up guitar because it was too hard. It was the first musical thing that I tried and wasn't good at right away. Or, maybe it's because I get overwhelmed when the house gets super messy or I have writers black, so I just shut down. Who knows? I always joke that I keep this blog because I hope that the person with all of the answers will read it and clue me in, so for now, I'll just hope for that. 

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

    You just keep on keepin'...

    {...things on thursday}

    ...PJ had his first classmate birthday party this past weekend! When we started school this year, his first in an inclusion setting, I wasn't sure if that would happen for him. But I watched all of his little school friends bounce around a local inflatable playground, laughing together and just spilling happiness....you guys. My heart. If we stay in our town, PJ will be in school with these kids for many years and many grades and, for the first time, the idea warmed to me.

    ...Pete has been working very hard over the past few weeks. On top of all of the hours he has taken on, he had been embroiled in a grievance with his managers over the new schedule his floor is adopting next week. A number of the nurses on the floor felt that they were being treated unfairly, and as the union rep, Pete had to go all Norma Rae and try to make amends. Thankfully, everyone was able to come to a mutually agreeable change, and Pete's new schedule is not only fair, but very complimentary to our life as a family. He stood his ground for himself and his coworkers and I am really very proud of him. My Mom-Mom, who was very involved in her union, would be thrilled!

    ...PJ also had a cheer competition last weekend! The kids killed it as usual, and the host of the competition known as the Battle at the Boards, Epic Brands, always treat our kids with such love and respect. For the second year in a row, they have awarded our group a paid bid to the national competition. That's an honor, and it's so wonderful of them to make sure our kids can reach for the stars. We haven't yet taken then up on the offer, but how wonderful would it be to see these amazing athletes compete on a national stage? I proclaim my love for our South Jersey Storm family often, but I sometimes can't believe our luck in having these people in our life and surrounding my son.

    ...An old friend is having her first baby as I write. We had lost touch and hadn't spoken in years when I heard her news. Her baby shower was the first time we had seen each other in over six years. There was a time when we were very, very close, and at the time, walking away from our friendship was very, very difficult. But I find myself feeling so emotional over this new page in her life, and am waiting anxiously for news of her new arrival.

    ...I am so excited to be working with Ash from The Grits to make a few much-needed tweaks and tune-ups to my little blog! We're in the very first stages of the process and Ash has been so kind and nice to work with. I am very excited for the results!

    ...Hoping you are all having a great Thursday and are getting ready for the weekend!

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    I can't help myself...

    Anyone who knows me knows that I love Target. I remember admiring something in my cousin Meredith's apartment and asking where she got it (she's far more stylish and put together than I am, so this was the type of info I needed to remember).

    "Tarjay," she answered in a vaguely French-ish accent.

    "I'm sorry. Where?'

    {sigh} "Target."

    I had no idea what she was talking about. It would be many years later until the red bulls-eye would become a main fixture in my world. Target became my go-to for cute clothes, magazines, make-up and toiletries. When Target introduced groceries, my life became complete. There was no reason, ever, to go anywhere but Target. There can only be one, and it's Target. Forever and ever, Amen.

    Target has served as a magnet for my money ever since. What was an already-frequent stop for me turned into a thrice-weekly event upon PJ's birth. The need for the store-brand diapers and wipes that we used kept us there on the regular. Then came the Red Card and the Cartwheel app to add fuel to my spendy fire. But at this point, Target has drawn me into a shameless death spiral of nonsense. The spiral is constructed from two parts:

    1. Target has a huge offering of stuff to buy.
    2. I am an extremely disorganized person.

    A typical trip to Target begins with a cursory glance around the house and the realization that we are low on/out of {insert items here}. I head to Target to purchase Items A, B, and C. I purchase Items A and B and add Items D, E, and F. I get home to realize that I forgot to purchase Item C (which is, inevitably, the most important of the items I needed). I also realize that we needed things that didn't make it onto the list in the first place, so I head back to Target to purchase New Items A and B and Original Item C. Off I go, where I purchase Item C, but forget Item B and add New Items D, E, and F.

    Seriously. Every single time.

    I realize that this could easily be remedied by two things:

    1. Making a list ON PAPER, not in my head, and
    2. Exercising a modicum of self restraint.

    So far I have had zero success implementing either of these methods. I am too disorganized and too in love with Target to get this shit in check. I am thinking of a Target ban and going cold turkey for a while. I can either order the stuff we actually need online or make Pete go get it. I can also make the effort to make lists and not make impulse purchases. But, either way, I just can't quit you, Target.


    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    Turn the page...

    I have been a big reader for as long as I can remember. When I was pregnant with PJ, I started stockpiling books before I bought him one article of clothing. Titles that I had always dreamed of reading to my child were sitting on the shelves of his bookcase, waiting for his arrival.

    Thankfully, PJ loves books as much as his mama. We haven't missed a bedtime story more than a handful of times in his five years of existence. When he was a baby, he would listen intently to the story. Now, he is able to read simple books on his own. If I have nothing else to offer him from my side of the genetic pool, I hope that he has my reading skills and love for books.

    PJ has nearly 300 books in his collection, but right now, these are his favorites! For more on the importance of reading to your children, visit Reading is Fundamental!


    Llama Llama and the Bully Goat- Anna Dewdney: This book has switched into the Number One spot after Llama Llama Holiday Drama had an unprecedented run of nearly two months as favorite. I love this one because it is sweet and simple, but still teaches a lesson. It is NOT okay to be a bully, and if you're being bullied, you don't have to take it!









    Nugget & Fang- Tammi Sauer and Michael Slack: This one is my favorite right now, the story of a shark and a minnow who are best friends. When the minnow (Nugget) learns that sharks are the enemy, he decides that he can no longer be friends with the shark (Fang) who is, of course, devastated. It's a funny story that I actually enjoy, too!









    Bad Kitty- Nick Bruel: I did not know until I discovered this book at our school book fair that there is a whole Bad Kitty series that spans a variety of reading levels, so I can't wait to add to our collection as PJ's reading level increases. This is the story of a kitty who decides to go rouge when his owners run out of food that he likes. PJ loves this book because he is into cats and into bad behavior!











    The Sleepy Little Alphabet- Judy Sierra: Another favorite of PJ's, this books tells the story of why all of the letters in Alphabet Town are still awake. Thanks to his obsession with his ABC's, this book has been a standby. We have read it so often that both PJ and I know it by heart!







    Dirtball Pete- Eileen Brennan: This has been a favorite of ours for years, every since PJ got this book as a gift from his godmother. It's about a little boy named Pete (of course). Pete is usually a messy kid, but he needs to get cleaned up for his school pageant on the fifty states. Pete has been chosen to represent Pennsylvania, and his mother just wants everyone to see what an amazing little boy he is, not just the mess. It's a story I can completely relate to, and it's also why PJ knows that the capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg!









    Al of these books can be found on Amazon.com or at any local bookseller. Some of these were purchased at our school Scholastic Book Fair (I LOVE that PJ gets to take part in the book fair, it was one of my favorite parts of school!). There's no affiliate links here, just a list of PJ's favorite books!









    Welcome to Time for Mom!

    Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!  We are here to build a community of mom bloggers and get to know each other!



    Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

    Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

    Larisha @ We're Parents

    Brie @ {...a breezy life}

    Melissa @ Two Miracles




    And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!





    Follow Rachel B // Cant Google Everything's board Time for Mom Superstars on Pinterest.











    Every week each of the co-hosts picks a blogger to feature from the week before! Check out our picks from last week's link up!




    • DIY Nailhead Bulletin Board

    • Color Week: Red

    • Plantains and Cheese Recipe

    • Will My House Ever Be Clean?





    • Thanks for linking up!  By linking up  with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and  giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our  weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we  use your image when we feature you!



      Be sure to say "hi" if it's your first time linking up!