my little sister's wedding

I promised a little more in depth post about my sister, Kristina's, wedding this past weekend, and I'm ready to deliver - with photos and more! I threw her a bridal shower on Friday afternoon at Momma Spriggs restaurant in Carlisle, PA, and it was so fun. We went simple, since the venue offered the decor, but we added some floral touches (arranged by our Aunt Jeanne), papier mache favors with buttermints inside, a handmade sign for the gift table, etc. I also ordered custom cupcakes from the Carlisle Bakery in classic carrotcake with cream cheese frosting, plus vanilla with strawberry buttercream frosting. Divine.

As an aside, if you ever throw a bridal shower at a restaurant, triple check whether they allow outside food. I confirmed with my contact three times that we could bring the dessert, and they said yes, but we were given a bit of a hard time the day of. Nevertheless, we ate the cupcakes and had a grand time.

We started the wedding day with a big ol' 5k race in a nearby town. It was a chilly morning, but it was a great way to start the day with family and friends, and it made me realize how much more running I need to do to get in shape!

After that, the day was full-speed ahead. The men went to brunch before heading to the groom's house, and the ladies went to Linwood Estate to get ready in the manor, which was breathtaking! (Spencer and Porter spent the morning with Oma and Opa and the afternoon with Daddy, Uncle Josh and Uncle Adam at the groom's house.)

It was a beautiful day, and everything came together so perfectly for Kristina and Josh. It's been a crazy few months, but it all came together so well in the end. The reception was beautiful, and though there were two major medical issues, they didn't spoil the day at all. One woman fainted and hit her head, causing bleeding and needed to go to the hospital, then my new brother-in-law's father passed out in the hallway from a panic attack due to the aforementioned event. Josh's dad was okay and recovered to spend the evening at the reception, but it was definitely scary!

I was excited to do my own makeup for the day - only spending a little to get my lashes done - and I'm so glad I did! I don't do things too often with makeup because I'm fair and look silly with too much, but I'm really glad with how it all turned out. 

Ryan walked Spencer down the aisle as the ring bearer, and he did SO well! The sun was in his eyes, so he held the ring pillow up in front of him, but that was the only thing he struggled with! My handsome little men wore these suits from Next UK, and I can't recommend them enough for their super-fast shipping and excellent quality. Our bridesmaid's dresses were from Azazie, and I'll definitely be wearing it again for a ball in the future! Kristina's wedding gown was Sarah Seven, and the gentlemen all wore suits from Jos. A. Bank. 

I'm so thankful we got to spend this crazy, hectic, beautiful weekend with family and friends to celebrate the newlyweds!

four-day wedding weekends with kids

I disappeared on your guys (intentionally) the past few days, as my little family headed down to Carlisle, PA to see my baby sister get married! She married the love of her life, Josh, and I gained a new brother (who is fantastic, by the way), and it was a whirlwind of a time. Traveling with children is so hard. I'm not going to lie. There were tears. Lots of tears. But it was a wonderful time, and I'm glad that Ryan and I are able to do such trips together with our little kids! 

Spencer has become a great traveler, and so long as we turn on Color Crew or some nursery rhymes, he's entertained for hours (and naps like a boss, too). Porter isn't the best traveler. While he's a very easy-going baby, he hates his carseat, hates not being held and just wants to survey the scene the whole time, which he can't do in his baby bucket seat. I have hope though, that he will become a better traveler over time.

BUT - exciting things happened this weekend! Spencer decided it was a good weekend to really embrace potty-training! During our morning 5k the day of the wedding, Spencer and Porter spent time with Oma and Opa, and he decided it was time to learn to go both pee and poo on the potty! He's had a few accidents since then (we expect it), but he's done so remarkably well! I'm thrilled to see this going in the right direction.

The wedding was perfect, and the weather was beautiful. There were a couple little hiccups at the reception including two pretty significant medical emergencies, but we'd joked earlier about the number of doctors in the room - 26, mind you - so everyone was in really good hands. Regardless of it all - everyone had a blast, and it was fun to be a part of it.

I'll do a full recap of the wedding and bridal shower in pictures, as well as what we've learned so far potty-training this week, but I wanted to gather my thoughts now that we're home and getting back into our routine. Happy Monday, friends!

a blogger q & a

Today's post was inspired by the lovely Chelsea from Anchors Aweigh. I haven't done one of these in a long time, and I thought it would be fun to share a little about yours truly for those who are new to reading my blog. I might just interview the husband soon, too, because he sure does like a little face time here on the blog! But first…that's me and my husband, Ryan, from our cruise to the Bahamas from New York City last year. Clearly we need a repeat because the number of selfies since our return has vastly declined...

1. What is your biggest fear? Starting off with a big one here, eh? Well, if we're talking a silly, irrational fear - spiders. I don't care that I'm one million times bigger. #nope. If we're talking a real fear that's plagued me since childhood, I'd have to say the idea of being ordinary. That's utterly terrifying to me. The idea of never accomplishing something really great is soul-sucking.

2. What is your favorite workout? I have a few. I love love love swimming, and I grew up swimming competitively. I love to run, too! I used to do CrossFit, and I really loved that, but I think anything that forces me to be competitive with myself and others is the way to go. I have a favorite running loop that I really love, too, and I've been working a lot with this dry land training regimen. Try it. It hurts (so good).

3. What's your natural hair color? This is my natural hair color. I'm absurdly blonde, though it's not that white-blonde that it used to be when I was little. I once dyed my hair dark brown, and I spent three days stripping it and getting chlorine treatments to return to my original color. Ask me how fun of a process that was. Never again.

4. What is your favorite smell? There's something about the smell of fall that gets me every time! And no, I'm not talking PSL. I'm talking about crisp leaves, cool air, the smell of wood fires starting and chimney smoke lingering in the breeze. Also, I'm weird, but that smell you get when you start the heat in your home for the first time in a year? (probably propane…) Yup, love that. 

5. Tell me the 3 best days in your life - or the first 3 that come to mind.

6. What are your top 3 places currently on your bucket list to visit? Well, we're always planning our next getaway, so there are a lot of them! Right now, I think Ryan and I have discussed the following at least in the past 30 days.

  • Thailand
  • Ireland & Scotland
  • South Africa - I've been many times (my family is from there), but I want to take Ryan and the boys!

7. What is your favorite food? Sushi - hands down!

8. What is your current Netflix show of choice? We just binge watched Stranger Things, so now I'm catching up on The Originals while Ryan's on the swing shift. Also - I sense a lot of Netflix binges forthcoming while he's deployed.

9. Were you named after anyone? My name, Melissa, is my own, but my middle name, Elizabeth, was for my cousin who passed shortly before I was born.

10. What's your favorite hamburger topping? We don't eat a ton of red meat at home, but when I do have it, I love carmelized onions and blue cheese :)

10 steps to starting your etsy shop

You probably all know I started my very own Etsy shop back in February called Black River Boutique, and when I did, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing! Etsy has always been one of my favorite places to shop the goods of artisans around the world - often for a fraction of what a brick and mortar store might charge! Placing my own goods among so many great things was extremely daunting though, and I thought I'd type up a little tutorial of my own to show what I've learned thus far about getting started from the ground up.

1. Identify your product. When Spencer was a newborn, I bought an insanely beautiful (and overpriced) handmade blanket from Etsy. It's stunning, and to this day, it's a favorite of mine. However, when I unwrapped it, I realized I could have made it myself with minky and cotton. And thus, the idea for Black River Boutique was born. I wanted to make handmade and organic baby goods for those who wanted a more affordable version of chic goods like blankets, bibs, teethers and more.

2. Identify your market & customers. For me, this was the hardest part. It's easy to get caught up in the idea of selling your goods, but the first thing you want to do is find your target market. I recommend searching similar products on Etsy, researching the price point and finding where you want to fit. I chose two things…one - I wanted to provide an organic alternative for mamas and two - I wanted to make it wallet-friendly. 

3. Make! Before you even start your shop, make multiple products, and take pictures of them. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is starting your shop with just two items. It makes you look new, and while new isn't always bad, it doesn't inspire confidence in your buyers. I recommend listing 10-15 products (or more!) at launch.

4. Take good photographs. As a marketer by trade, if there's one thing I actually know, it's that people buy with their eyes first. A bad photo might not mean it's a bad product, but it doesn't show your goods (or your business) in a great light. Find a way to take a good picture of your product. Play with angles, props and lighting, and keep working at it! Change is good, so don't be afraid to mix it up.

5. Create a shop instagram. This has been the singular most effective and fun tool that I've used for Black River Boutique. There is an entire community of makers on the app, and likewise, there's a community of buyer's just looking for the perfect product! Use the above step (great photos) to market your goods. Another instagram tip? Utilize hashtags! They're actually search tools for your shop. Research what similar shops use, don't be afraid to tag handmade feature pages like this, and continue honing in on what does and doesn't work. 

6. Be wise about giveaways. You might see a lot of makers offering up giveaways to drum up new followers on instagram, and it's tempting, folks. Giveaways are a newbie marketer's dream (and nightmare) though. Research has shown that giveaways usually don't "buy" you the best followers. Rather, these are the followers that follow solely for the entry then jump ship when they don't win. The last thing you want is to suddenly have 300 more followers who drop you like a bad habit when they don't win your prize. 

7. Start your Etsy page. Find the perfect shop name and create it here! For me, this was tricky, as someone already had the Black River Boutique name on Etsy. I settled for second best, and I've overcome that hurdle now, but get as close to your name as humanly possible. Ask other makers you might now about free listings, too. A lot of us earn free listings over time and can donate them to new makers. A listing is usually 20 cents per listing, and they last about 4 months before they expire and have to be renewed. When you start your page, you'll also want to have a design for your shop. Lots of other  shops offer up pre-made designs - like Jupiter Street Designs and Simply Creative Design Studio. Plus, their designs make it possible for you to create a great look for a small amount of money.

8. Create the perfect listing. Remember those great photographs you took for instagram? Now's the time to use them! You'll want about 3 shots per product if possible, showing close-ups, different angles and more. This gives buyer's a better feel of your product, and it makes it look like you've done your due diligence when listing your product, too. You put a lot of care into your product, so make it sing! Again, research similar shops' tags when making your listing, too. For example, "alexaorganics" has been a top one for me, since I source their organic teething rings to use for my teethers. Figure out what people are looking for and target that.

9. Create a shop Facebook. Marketing is about creating a web of information for people to follow. Not everyone has an instagram, but they'll likely have either a Facebook or an instagram. Share your information on your business Facebook page, as well, where your photos have another chance to sing on a new marketing medium, as well! Plus - you can use your personal page to help drum up activity, as well. (Pro-tip - utilize Facebook's boost features! It drums up a lot of new readers for a small cost.)

10. Continue to learn and grow! Your shop isn't a one and done deal. You'll want to keep putting up new products consistently and marketing to your audience, or they'll likely lose interest. For my product, for example, people are always looking for new prints! If I show the same 10 fabrics for the next 10 months, people will stop looking. Market to the season, figure out sales tactics, create thank you codes for repeat buyers and learn as you go and grow! I'm still learning. Over time, I've found that there's a price point my customers are looking for, that custom orders are one of my biggest sellers and that people love a good seasonal print. Make notes and grow from those.

I'm no expert at this, my friends, but it's been a fun ride so far. Etsy is such a great marketing platform, and anyone can do it - it just takes time and effort. If you have any questions about opening your own shop, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm all ears!

mama & spencer date

It's no secret that I'm a swammer (past tense of swimmer), and it's one of my greatest desires to have my children love the water and maybe…just maybe one day become swimmers themselves. Since moving to New York though, we've discovered that the pool options here at Fort Drum are sorely lacking. There are two indoor pools at Magrath Gym and Monti Physical Fitness Center. This summer, neither of them was open consistently. Monti was closed because of some apparent crack in the pool (is that even a thing?) and Magrath was open from 0600 to 1300. Basically, no working mama was ever going to be able to go swim or take their kids. 

I ended up joining the YMCA, but the pool is about 20 minutes away, and to be entirely honest, it's garbage. Just recently though, they finally opened Monti again, and it's now open on Sundays, too! So, Spencer and I took a mama and Spencer date after nap time to the pool. Usually he sleeps from 1 to 3:30, but I woke him up at 3, and we headed to the pool.

He had a blast. 

Monti has a baby pool that's 2.5 feet deep, which is the perfect depth for a toddler to wade around. I'm working on getting his face in the water, helping him blow bubbles and learn to kick, but today we really just focused on him having fun. I used to teach ISR, but now I'm just teaching my own son little by little. He went under a few times, and watching him use his natural tools to turn over, hold his breath and get to the wall made me so proud. 

We only had about 45 minutes in the water, but he loved every second of it, and I can't wait to take him again. The pool has little torpedo toys, and he would dunk his head under to look at them, then jump off the step to try and grab them. I basically just sat there taking pictures in the pool because it was so darn cute. (Thank you, LifeProof for making it possible for me to take my phone in the pool!)

It was such a simple little thing we did together before we went grocery shopping, which is also a favorite past time of ours, but it was so so sweet. I love both my boys, but there's something so precious about being able to have time with them one-on-one, too. I can't wait to have more little dates like this someday soon.

Five on Friday: Seriously TGIF

Another week has come and gone, and it's been nonstop over here lately. It's been a long, hard, trying week, simply because it seems like we never have a moment to stop. Ryan's been gone from about 6-6 every single day, and between work, workouts, FRG, sewing and attempting to clean, my week has been nuts. It doesn't show signs of stopping soon either. BUT - it's Friday - and that's something worth celebrating! Today, I'm linking up with A. Liz Adventures and Hello Happiness.

1. Burrville Cider Mill

Last year, we visited the Burrville Cider Mill as a family of three - not yet aware that we were expecting baby number two. This year, we're super excited to go as a family of four, share the waterfalls with Spencer, who might be almost old enough to appreciate it now, pick some apples and get some delicious cider and donuts. It's not far from home, but it makes for some great family memories and traditions while we're here at Drum before Ryan has to leave.

2. Family Clothes (and Shopping!)

Fall is coming at us from every angle right now, and I love it! We've discovered, however, that Spencer's outgrown 99% of his cool weather clothes, and that means a new fall/winter wardrobe is in order. At 21 months, I'm tempted to bypass those 24 month clothes and head straight to 2T, since I hear the size difference is minimal, and I'll regret it otherwise. Thoughts, mamas? Any great deals I should know about? Porter needs new clothes, too, since he's about a hundred times bigger than Spencer was and in the opposite season.

3. Fall Fabrics

I'm pretty obsessed with some of the fall fabrics I'm going to feature in Black River Boutique! There's some season prints (skulls with bows, etc.), but this PSL print had me giggling, plus pie? (both prints via Spoonflower) Yes, please!

4. Piper & Scoot

^^^ image via

I mentioned in one of my last posts that I've recently discovered Piper & Scoot, and I just love all the things. I've been working on slowly revamping my wardrobe little by little, and we're budgeting in some new clothes for a church-appropriate, mom-appropriate, chic wardrobe for me. Because I'm losing weight, it's tricky to buy while doing so, but they have some of the greatest maxi dresses (I bought that Hanna dress above), peplum tops and swing dresses around. Color me obsessed. 

5. A New Blog Design

You may have noticed my blog looks a little different lately…that's because I needed a redesign! I wanted something cleaner, brighter and simpler for the coming months, and I wanted to be able to feature larger images without cluttering the page. I think it looks pretty great, but I'm biased…what do you think? 

Happy Friday, all - I hope you have a great weekend!

life lately through the lens

Today I'm linking up with Jessi for What's Hap-pinning Wednesday to share some of what's new here in the Moore household! Life is busy, busy, busy lately with things moving full speed ahead in seemingly every direction. We have a big trip coming up next week to Philadelphia for my little sister's wedding. We'll be heading down on Thursday and coming back on Sunday, so it should be a crazy busy and crazy good time with family and friends. I'm working on her bridal shower favors and treats right now. Full disclosure, Carlisle Bakery is making the goods - I'm just DIY decorating them. Here's some of my inspiration: 

^^^ image via

I recently discovered Piper & Scoot, and I absolutely love, love love their stuff! I bought two beautiful dresses and a top I've been lusting after, all of which I will wear for the shower. They're both mom-appropriate and chic. Does it get better than that?!

Ryan and I recently binge-watched Stranger Things on Netflix. If you haven't seen it yet, or you're on the fence, you really need to get off that fence and watch it! It's really incredibly well done, and the fact that it's so very 80's makes it even better! We're in a show hole now that we've finally finished both Downton Abbey and that...any recommendations? I think we should continue the Blacklist or Blindspot. 

I've been crazy busy working on FRG stuff, things for Black River Boutique (some fun new fall prints coming soon!) and really just soaking in the last of summer. The weather is turning today, and I can feel that crisp, cool breeze sweeping through the windows now that the air conditioning is finally off. I took the boys to the park the past two days, and Spencer braved the slide like a big boy - 10 times in a row! I was one proud mama watching my little ginger biscuit climb up and slide down all by himself. As an aside, he did fall down the stairs once, but we brushed him off, kissed the little scrape, and he was right back at it. 

I've been taking a lot more pictures with my nice DSLR lately, and I'm glad to be dusting it off and using it again. There's so many moments I don't want to miss, and while I love my trusty iPhone camera, the pictures don't compare to the ones from my camera. Hopefully we can print some of these for some DIY wall projects soon!

What's new with you?

porter dean's birth story

This post is long overdue, as Porter is already 3 months old, and I really just wanted to take the time to sit down and reflect on this time in our lives with our newest baby. Transitioning to a family four has been so sweet - hard - but so, so sweet. When we found out we were expecting baby number two, I expected my pregnancy to be very similar to what I felt while pregnant with Spencer. It was vastly different though, and we were thrilled to discover it actually was a second boy! I could've sworn it was a girl, so I was really shocked and surprised. 

Throughout my pregnancy, I struggled with my OBs up here at Fort Drum. I couldn't find one I really liked, while I loved my OB in Arizona. At 34 weeks, I switched practices for the second time to A Woman's Perspective with Dr. Cain, and I finally felt pretty good. They listened to my concerns, and I felt like everything was going smoothly. At 37 weeks pregnant, things started going a little haywire. I'd have contractions every single day between three and seven minutes apart for almost six hours at a time that would later die down. We went to L&D twice, and I got sent home.

They stripped my membranes at 37 weeks and assured me it wouldn't be long. They did it again at 38 weeks. And 39 weeks. And 40 weeks. And they told me that there was no way I'd be overdue...and that our baby was going to be tiny. At 40 weeks, I was so uncomfortable, and I'd been in prodromal labor for 3 weeks consistently. I begged for an induction, and they said New York state law wouldn't allow it until week 41, so I waited. At 41 weeks and one day, they started my induction at 7 AM. 

Dr. Cain was certain that my body would do its thing naturally since I was three cm dilated and 90% effaced, so they started cervidil right away. I started having contractions, but nothing was painful. They were consistently two minutes apart, so they started my ampicillin drip for GBS, since I needed four units before he was born. They checked me every three hours, but nothing changed. I was still three cm dilated and 90% effaced with contractions two minutes apart. I was so frustrated. Finally, at 4 PM, they said they'd start pitocin to move things along.

Because I'd had the same with Spencer, I knew I was too tired mentally and physically to do it naturally, so I asked for my epidural right away. It took almost immediately, but it was so strong that everything was numb. I couldn't feel any contractions, so I couldn't tell if they were continuing. (They were.) My water, however, wouldn't break, so they did it - and despite the fact that I warned them what happened with Spencer, the exact thing happened again. With every contraction, Porter's heart rate dropped from 157 bpm to 40. And it continued this way for hours...and hours...and hours. 

I couldn't nap because the nurses kept coming in, afraid for Porter's health. Nobody checked me, I was extremely, extremely frustrated. They infused saline into the cord to relieve stress, but because the waters had been broken, it kept leaking out. They started talking about a c-section, but I asked them to check me around 3 AM because I thought I maybe felt a little pressure. Finally, they said I was 10 cm and ready to push. 

My doctor hustled in, my night nurse took a leg and Ryan took the other one. I started pushing, but because my epidural was so strong, I couldn't feel my contractions or when I needed to push. It felt a lot more labor-intensive than Spencer's birth, and though I only pushed for ten minutes, I distinctly remember telling Ryan I couldn't do it. One push later, and our second little prince, Porter Dean Moore, was born weighing 8 lb 7 oz and 22 inches long - two whole inches and pounds bigger than his older brother.

From the start, Porter has been such an easy baby. Spencer was more difficult by a mile, and Porter has nearly slept through the night since day one. Even in the hospital, the nurses insisted I wake him every two hours to feed him, which was silly since he barely got below his birth weight. My time in the hospital here in New York is bittersweet. I really hated it, but I left with our sweet man, so that made it worthwhile. I had to stay for 48 hours despite the fact that I had no tearing and the easiest recovery because New York state law states that anyone GBS positive has to. It was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life because the staff was unfriendly, they messed up my chart and sent in social workers and generally didn't do their job well.

And yet, I choose to look back at this time as a fond memory because we now have two sweet boys in our life, and the transition has been fairly seamless since we got home. He fits in so well because he's quiet, sweet, observant and totally obsessed with his brother. It's a hard time in our lives with many adjustments, but we wouldn't change it for anything. We sure do love our little Porter Dean. 

chasing summer

You know those weekends that are just perfect for all the right reasons? This was one of those weekends. We didn't do anything crazy. We just spent time as a family, getting things done and enjoying these last vestiges of summer, and it was amazing.

I'll be the first person to say that I love fall. So much. Like, so much that I have written posts about how much I love fall. But this summer has felt both eternal and fleeting. It was a hot summer, I was pregnant forever, and then once Porter was born, suddenly the summer sped away at lightning speed. Now, we're heading into fall with a 21 month old, a three month old and an impending deployment that's making me cherish each moment more than ever.

On Saturday, Ryan and I had our weigh-in at Weight Watchers early, then we took Spencer to get his weekly doughnut. When we got home, we knew we had some tasks we wanted to knock out, and the stars really aligned for us to get them done. Spencer loves playing in the car, so while I cleaned out the car, he played in it for almost two hours, soaking in the heat and sun - making for a perfect nap time. Likewise, Porter napped like a boss while Ryan took care of some tasks in the house, and both of us managed to get our respective wedding attire for my sister's upcoming nuptials altered. To celebrate accomplishments, we took our boys for the last ice cream of the season at the Blizzard Barn - and Spencer got his very own cup!

The icing on the perfect Saturday was a family dinner with our neighbors across the street, who brought their two dogs over to play in our big back yard. We ate nachos, spent some quality time soaking in the fresh air as the weather turned right then and there. The storm clouds were rolling in with the breeze, and we felt the summer's humidity die down - making for the perfect Sunday, too. 

Sunday was simpler…just church, nap time and a trip to the park. Ryan got to watch his beloved Chiefs pull a win from behind, and when we went to the park, we watched our little man climb around and own that playground. There is so much joy in his little face when he's playing outside, and it makes my mama heart smile. His love of life and enthusiasm for the simple things - time with mama and daddy, yummy treats and the great outdoors - is infectious. 

I can't wait to share all the delights of fall with him in the coming weeks! I hope all your weekends were just as sweet as ours.

burning the candle at both ends

It's Friday again, and I'm so darn glad. There's a part of me wondering where the heck the week went though because I don't feel like I had more than a fleeting moment to stop, kick my feet up and breathe. Motherhood is tiring. Mothering a toddler AND a baby is exhausting. Add in work, workouts, home maintenance and more, and it's a recipe for fatigue! Some days, I truly believe I'm burning the candle at both ends. On any given day, I'm doing the following:

Working 6 AM - 4:15 PM - I'm lucky to have a great in-home nanny for the boys
Working out - I try to workout 4-5 days a week, which means at least 3 of those days are week days
Sewing - Black River Boutique is a job in and of itself…I love it, but it's a lot
 FRG - I'm the FRG (family readiness group) leader for Ryan's company
Housework - Laundry is nearly an every day affair, and dishes and cleaning do pile up
Blogging - I'm trying to do this more because this time is so fleeting - no matter how hard it is

It's a lot, and sometimes I wish I could take a step back and stop for a minute. Life doesn't stop because we do though, and children certainly don't. I'm so lucky to have the boys on wonderful routines because it simplifies life a ton. Spencer naps from 1-3:30, Porter naps 10-11 and 1-4, and both boys go to bed at 8 PM. I can't complain about that at all. 

I have to keep reminding myself that these are the most exhausting times of our lives though, and this work? It'll change. It'll transform, and it will become more beautiful than ever. I read this article that was shared with me on Facebook, and this quote stuck out to me the most:

"Moms of one and two children, you are doing hard work. It is overwhelming and completely exhausting, and figuring it all out is some of the most physically, mentally, emotionally demanding and heart-wrenching work you will ever do… But there is hope. It does get easier. Not because a light bulb goes off one day and you figure it all out."
- Sarah Short

And so, I'm going to continue doing it all (within reason) because these kiddos are worth it and so is our family. Nobody said it would be easy, so I'm settling in for the ride of our lifetime.