Saying Goodbye to 20

I remember at 17-years-old, feeling possibly the lowest of my lows, being told by an adult that I had a “strong personality.”

I was mortified, offended, embarrassed, devastated.  I was trying to cope with the loss of a friend, after months of fighting- as only teenage girls do- and realizing that reconciling had lost its chance.  I came to this adult completely empty, desperately needing my tears to heal my broken heart and instead of making me feel better,  she brought me down a thousand steps.

Looking back, of course I know now that she was honestly trying to help me find myself, even though it took (and will take) many more years of self-discovery.

At 17, I knew I was obnoxious, loud, and even annoying- but I had no idea how to positively channel that “strong personality” energy.  It left me so weak and so insecure.  During elementary conferences, my mom was told I was “a social butterfly.”  In Junior High I was “chatty” and Senior High, the inevitable, “disruptive.”

By the time I reached my first semester of college, I received an email from my professor telling me that I needed to speak up in class if I wanted participation points.  Little did he know I was miserable, digging my fingernails into the palms of my hands, desperate to start new.  Quiet, respectful, introverted.

WHY DIDN’T ANYONE EVER TELL ME THAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE YOUR PERSONALITY TRAITS? Well, I am sure they did… I just didn’t want to hear it.

Years later I was asked to complete a Myers- Briggs assessment at a synod CYF (Children Youth & Family) meeting.  No surprise.  ENFJ- Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging.  I raised my hand to the dear presenter, “So… how do you change what you are?” Everyone quietly chuckled.  “No, I am serious.  Like… can you train yourself into being something else? I want other traits.  I want other skills!”

“You use them for good.  You don’t change them.  You use your gifts in ministry and then you thank God for them.”

Well, shit.  That’s not what I wanted to hear and I’m certainly not thanking God for this mess He created.

And still, more fingernails into the palms.  ‘Do not speak unless it can be a positive contribution to the conversation.’

I found myself teaching a lesson to my Middle Schoolers a few years ago about gifts- about  God uniquely creating each of us, and in my heart I was screaming:

“You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother,”

“You made me; you created me,”

“We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand,”

“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows,”

“For we are his workmanship,”

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

God was using me in ways I couldn’t admit.  Using me as a teaching tool.  If you’ve seen me teach my middle schoolers (or even if you haven’t), you know I get really passionate.  My arms flail around, my voice gets loud and shaky, I say things like, “THIS IS SO AMAZING! ISN’T THIS AMAZING?! ISN’T GOD’S LOVE SO AMAZING?!”

“Okay, God.  I hear you.” And after twenty-some years of loathing these pieces of me, I understood the point.  In time Anxiety, OCD and Depression diagnoses would come, which came more understanding of the way my brain worked, the way I felt, and the ways in which I could find peace.

“You have a voice I wish I had,” a friend once said to me after reading an entry about Lucy.  And it wasn’t until then that I realized…

I did not lose myself in motherhood, unlike many woman.  I have found myself in more ways than I ever could imagine.  Before motherhood, I didn’t know WHY I had some of these gifts; only to have it be revealed to me that it was out of PRIVILEGE that I am able to be God’s hands and feet.  It is out of PRIVILEGE that I can teach people about Autism, about my story, about our story.  That I can use what I’ve learned in motherhood to help others in their struggles.

I have been lost before and it wasn’t until I had this amazing, all-encompassing love for two tiny humans that I’ve found out who I am and what I want to be.  I’ve never had this drive to be better, to love more, to use my gifts.

I am not going to promise you that at 30 years old I am going to have it figured out.  I am not going to promise you that at 30 I am going to love every piece of me.  But I do think that 20 is hard.  I think 20 is learning how to “adult.”  My 20’s was fast-paced– college, marriage, graduation, babies, buying houses, more babies, living, loving and learning (SO MUCH LEARNING.)  My 30’s won’t be boring or slow, but I do believe this part of my journey- this right here- feels good. I feel determined to know myself and continue to find myself in the midst of this crazy life.  I feel empowered to use these gifts I once hated, to speak up for those who are unable.  To be raw and honest, knowing that we each have so much to share with one another.  To continue to learn and grow, to be a role-model for my children. To believe and trust in myself.


“This isn’t something that you only struggle with at 13-14 years old.  Adults struggle with it.  I struggle with it.  But I think it’s kind of a good thing- life would be boring if our journey was simple.   We can choose to not use our gifts, but that’s being lazy.  That’s being complacent.  That’s belittling God.  Telling him that His work- YOU- isn’t good enough.  Or we can choose to use our gifts, boldly and proudly.  Understanding that we make mistakes.  Understanding that we’re not perfect.  Knowing that we are an unfinished masterpiece, while our Artist continues to work on us, we’ll become more beautiful as our picture becomes clear.  Our journey doesn’t end as adults.  We are in for a life-time of self-discovery.  What a gift!”


ENFJs are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, ENFJs take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.
People are drawn to strong personalities, and ENFJs radiate authenticity, concern and altruism, unafraid to stand up and speak when they feel something needs to be said. They find it natural and easy to communicate with others, especially in person, and their Intuitive (N) trait helps people with the ENFJ personality type to reach every mind, be it through facts and logic or raw emotion. ENFJs easily see people’s motivations and seemingly disconnected events, and are able to bring these ideas together and communicate them as a common goal with an eloquence that is nothing short of mesmerizing.
The interest ENFJs have in others is genuine, almost to a fault – when they believe in someone, they can become too involved in the other person’s problems, place too much trust in them. Luckily, this trust tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as ENFJs’ altruism and authenticity inspire those they care about to become better themselves. But if they aren’t careful, they can overextend their optimism, sometimes pushing others further than they’re ready or willing to go.
ENFJs are vulnerable to another snare as well: they have a tremendous capacity for reflecting on and analyzing their own feelings, but if they get too caught up in another person’s plight, they can develop a sort of emotional hypochondria, seeing other people’s problems in themselves, trying to fix something in themselves that isn’t wrong. If they get to a point where they are held back by limitations someone else is experiencing, it can hinder ENFJs’ ability to see past the dilemma and be of any help at all. When this happens, it’s important for ENFJs to pull back and use that self-reflection to distinguish between what they really feel, and what is a separate issue that needs to be looked at from another perspective.

Honors Breakfast


This is the face of someone who “enjoyed” Honors Breakfast.  And by enjoyed I mean… it went terribly.

When I opened Lucy’s backpack on Monday afternoon and read the letter my jaw dropped to the floor.

“Are you sure?” I asked her teacher.  “Like, it’s not every kid? She was actually chosen to be January Student of the Month?”

Sure enough, she was.  For showing kindness, leadership, and great worth ethic, my daughter, was chosen.  And of course, then I felt like a terrible mom for thinking it may be a mistake- maybe an oversight.

She may never make friends.  She may never be reading or writing at grade-level.  She may never win these stupid awards for normal kids because she’s.not.normal.  I had to tell myself these things.  I had to prepare myself.

My eyes welled with tears and I screamed.  “Lucy! Do you know what this means?”

“Yeah! I had a good day!” She was beaming- so proud of herself.

We talked about it for two whole days.  We held hands and jumped up and down on our kitchen floor.  We danced around the counter island and had celebratory peanut butter cookies.

What do you think you’ll eat for breakfast? Chocolate cake.

How many other kids do you think there will be? 100.

Do you think you’ll get a certificate? I hope I get chocolate cake.

Seriously.  She was so proud of herself.  She wanted to tell everyone.  She knew how hard she’s been working and knew this breakfast would be all about honoring her.

And then morning came and in those first few moments, Devin and I knew that it wouldn’t be a good morning.  She fought everything- getting dressed, brushing her teeth, wearing socks.  I finally had to carry her out into the garage, begging her to remember how excited she was for this.

I barely got her through the school doors.  She sat down at her spot (with a princess place mat ugh, she hates princesses) while I got her breakfast and tried coaxing her into eating something.

“There’s no chocolate cake.”

The other parents were kind when I saw them eyeing her frustration, “Hard day for her,” I whisper.  “Different kinds of days are hard.”  And I stare at the other kids instead of my own.  Smiling and laughing… actually eating breakfast.  And then I wonder if the other parents know.  Or do they just think she’s a bratty kid who hates mornings? I wonder what they’re thinking when we exchange tiny smiles.

While the principal was trying to give an inspiring message to the students, Lucy was talking.  To herself… to me… I’m not really sure.  She kept talking about peanut butter.  And chocolate cake, of course.  “I want to leave.  I’m gonna leave now.” Shhh, Lucy.  Listen, please.  She stood up, sat back down, stood up, etc.

It feels like a slap in the face, a slap of reality.  Because there are some moments I simply forget.  We go on living our “normal” lives just as you all do because this IS normal for us.  This is our everyday. But then this happens and it’s like getting slapped with an Autism stick and it’s a sudden reminder that she’s not normal.

Let the record show that I don’t give a shit about being normal or labeling anyone as “normal.”  But that doesn’t take away the fact that here I am, standing next to these proud parents who are watching their kids behave appropriately, while I’m over here convincing my kid to stay seated at the table.  It doesn’t take away the fact that she still struggles.  It doesn’t take away the fact that she was SO DAMN excited about this breakfast, but her anxiety got the best of her and she couldn’t overcome how out of routine this was.

She did stand up to accept her certificate.  She did stand underneath the banner for the photo, of course, with a gnarly pirate face.  Those things I’m proud of.  She didn’t freak out when the principal tried to pat her on the back.  She was happy to go into class.

She was happy to go into class.

And.  She was chosen.

Her everyday is so much better than we expected.  So much better than anyone expected.  So much better than anyone had prepared us for.

She’s killin’ it, folks.  She’s learning and loving.

And she’s teaching other people.  Oh, she has so much to teach us.



The Brutally Honest Christmas Letter [year 2]

The few tiny lines on our family Christmas card wasn’t able to adequately provide you with all of the information I could have shared about our past year so, again, I wrote an honest letter. One with the good, the bad, and the wild. It’s important for me to share all of our year- because that’s what I know. That’s what I can write about. The ins and outs of living our life, ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) as it i


There’s not a day that goes by that she doesn’t challenge me in a new way.  This girl, you guys… all sass, attitude, and HUGE emotions.  She’s got the low lows and the high highs.  And late at night, before we fall asleep, Devin and I giggle about how wonderful she is.  She’s smart, kind, brave, sweet and so terrible.  Imagine the chuckle we get when strangers- heck, even our own family members- watch her in all of her glory.  That “she’s so cute, but I’m glad she ain’t mine” chuckle.

I don’t blame them.  Ha.  I would do the same.

But HOLY COW I love this child.  I love her through the challenges and sleepless nights.  We share the same soul, her and I.  Maybe it’s because we’re the babies of the family and second daughters.  Maybe because I understand what it’s like to feel all the feels and feel them so strongly.  Whatever it is, I have the strongest, strangest and most wonderful connection to her, more anyone else in the world.

It’s this sameness that we share that keeps me sane.  Because I’m certain that as she ages, not only will I understand her, I think someone will finally and fully understand me.

I love her laugh.  I love her passion for art, movies, and having fun.  I love her for always looking out for her sister (her “brudder”).  She never chose to be the little sister of a child with a disability.  She didn’t ask to fall behind Lucy.  And though I believe these issues will continue to grow as the girls get older, the amount of love she has for Lucy is indescribable.  I foresee understanding and compassion for Lucy, always defending her right to be who she is.

Eleanor’s 2016 highlights: Lots of writing, drawing and painting.  First week of VBS and “Sunday” School.  Turning three, and more importantly, acting three.


It’s impossible to compare her to anyone else and thank God I don’t have to.  Because she is who she is.  And I love living each day with her, telling me who she is and who she will become.

Turning six felt relieving.  Five was hard.  Five had anger, frustration, and a lot of new things (which means new challenges).  But we got through it.  Lucy has found a peace she’s not had until now.   She is realizing that life is more than simply happy, sad, and mad.  She has really improved at understanding how each of these emotions feel, aiding us in helping her through the feelings.

Kindergarten.  I have no idea how in the hell we made it… but, again, Lucy wouldn’t be Lucy unless she constantly surprised everyone.  Her November conference turned into a memory I will hold in my heart for a lifetime.  “The kids are kind to her.  They want to play with her.  She wants to play with them.  They like what she has to offer.”  She is testing out at grade-level for the first time in her entire life.  She’s learning.  CONSTANTLY LEARNING.  She writes words, she reads words, she counts to 100 by 10’s.  She plays with kids on the playground.  She receives very little para support.  She took her turn during Star Week, speaking into the microphone in front of her entire class without hesitation.  She participates. She loves cold lunch.  SHE SANG AT HER CHRISTMAS PROGRAM!  She’s doing this on her own.

All the while at home she tells me she cries every day at school.  By Friday nights she’s already nervous about going back to school on Monday morning.  She tells me how much she dislikes school.  And I hate getting the bad side of it.  I hate that I can’t watch her flourish in that environment.  I hate that I have to hear the screaming and crying and pleading.  But each day is getting better.  And I will never, ever take for granted her small, even tiny, steps.  I will never forget where we could be at this point.  I will never forget her teachers, paras, and everyone who has helped us get here.

Because early intervention changed who she would become and her future successes in life.  And I am eternally grateful for the lessons she will teach us all.

I love being her mother.  I love picking her up from school.  I love being the one she needs to sleep with each night.  I love her complex and odd questions.  I love her joy and happiness. I love watching her grow.

Lucy’s 2016 highlights: Kindergarten! Becoming an amazing swimmer.  Meeting Eeyore at Disney.


Of course Devin remains the most boring of the family.  And by that I mean he’s the lowest maintenance.  But more importantly, he’s the consistent glue that holds us all together.  He’s irreplaceable.  He’s amazing.  Devin blesses all of us in more ways than one.  He’s everything I want (and more!) as a husband and father.

He lets me be irrational and ridiculous.  He listens to me endlessly talk Disney and never tires of hearing my grandiose Disney plans.  He lets me be in charge when I need to be, but fills in when he sees where things are lacking.  He wakes up with my children every single day and never complains.  He loves them and he loves me- and it is so evident.  I am beyond grateful to laugh with him every single day.  And to take life one day at a time with him as my partner.

He works hard every day.  He makes it look easy, but he does love his job and I know first-hand how meaningful that is.  He fits right in with the all-encompassing nerds that make up  To top it all off, he’s good at it.  So I beam with pride watching him do well because I’m amazed that I married a man that can “do it all!”

Devin’s 2016 highlights: Star Wars, getting mentioned on USA today’s website, remaining sane in our crazy family.

Mama Bear

I can’t forget to mention that 2016 was the YEAR OF DISNEY.  Our first visit with the girls in January, accompanied by my parents (whom we couldn’t have done the trip without).  The second trip in October was for a wedding (and hurricane) of two beloved friends.  I was humbled to be asked to officiate this ceremony, the first and likely last I’ll ever perform.  And finally, this month, I snagged 4 days of my bff’s life, dragging her through Disney so we could celebrate our 30th birthdays.

This was the year of the beginning of self-discovery and self-assessing!  Resting assured that while dealing with a “mental illness trifecta shit-storm,” I can choose to become better and wake up with new chances every single day.  This was the year that I so deeply understood how I can change the way I feel about myself.  How I can change the shame, guilt and disgust little by little, remembering that this darkness does not have to overcome me.  This darkness does not have to define me.

I have been reminded so often how important it is to speak up and speak out about mental illness.  I’ve been humbled by the huge amount of love and support my family and I receive each day.

I held onto moments a little differently this year.   I used them to fuel my passions- for learning and loving and living.  To fuel the fires of my hopes and dreams that have never been revealed to me.  I was thankful this year.

This was the year of loving my family- especially loving this new job as “aunt.”  This was the year of being insanely proud and in love with my friends- some having babies, some making babies.  Some getting married.  Some finishing Master’s and Doctoral Programs.  Some moving and making huge changes.  This was the year of being totally indebted to their love and support, which I couldn’t live without!

My 2016 highlights: making the most of the last year in my 20’s!  Getting Lucy’s Kindergarten picture.

To sum it up…

Life is really shitty sometimes.  It’s not always beautiful.  We’ve had a handful of those moments this year.  But sometimes I think we’ve figured this out.  Maybe not everything, but we’ve figured out that even when life gets really shitty, we make it work.  We learn and grow and push ourselves.  It’s about what we do in our lives during the shitty parts that make us who we are.  We are responsible for our own happiness.  We are responsible for our actions, how we treat other people and how much love we give.  We have faith that God will provide and guide us.  We take opportunities and enhance them, we embrace change, we trust and we push the limits.  Most importantly, we love our kids.  We do the best we can.  And I think that’s pretty damn good.

May God bless you and those you love this Christmas. Have a happy, healthy and loving new year.



Your Storm on the Sea

I have been lost before.

Admittedly, I’ve spent much of my life as a traveling voyager, holding my breath and awaiting my ship to sink- feeling like the sea is all around me and there’s nothing beyond the horizon but more water.  But instead of letting go, I kept my boat as steady as I could in the middle of the storm until I was able to sail to land. 

It’s so surprising how often we underestimate how God is constantly working in our lives.  Time and time again I have been reminded and yet, I still get lost and I still don’t know where to go on my journey.  It’s like being in the center of a crowded room and as you scream no one even looks up.  It’s foggy and vague and painful.  And I hate to think that my broken heart is part of God’s plan.

I’m thankful that God has revealed what He wanted in me- pieces of who I am meant to be.  A mom.  A wife.  A friend.  A passionate human being with an enormous amount of love for all people. But I’m still an unfinished puzzle.  Sometimes I’m convinced that some of my puzzle pieces are gone, hidden beneath the couch or possibly chewed by the dog.

But because I’ve been there before, waiting on the sea for someone to rescue me, I need to tell you that there is so much more to this life than just simply treading water.  There’s so much more to this life then being stuck on the journey without a sense of direction.

We have a God that continues to hold us afloat even amidst our darkest and stormiest seas. We have a God that can take all that’s dead inside and reawaken our spirit.  He holds every tear in the palm of His hand.  He whispers through the rain and thunder, waiting for us to listen.

And time and time again when we disapprove of His plan, He continues to fight for us- all of us- even when we are among the least, the lowest and the lost.  And when we feel like we’ve lost control, we don’t have to have hold it all together.  We don’t have to sail alone. We can surrender, lay it at the cross, and feel the freedom.

The waiting is always the hardest part.  Like driving a million miles alone without a GPS.  But now I’ve found peace in the waiting, knowing that the same God who was and is and will be is waiting beside me providing clarity for the next chapter in my story.  So now… I wait.  But instead of getting lost this time, I will find a way to just be held.  Like sitting in a coffee shop with an old friend, discussing love, life and happiness until the writing on my pages begin to fill.

Because we were all meant to fill the pages with something big.  Even when we don’t know what the big is.


 They went to him and woke him up. “Lord!” they cried, “Save us! We’re going to die!” He asked them, “Why are you afraid, you who have little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. The men were amazed. “What kind of man is this?” they asked. “Even the winds and the sea obey him!” Matthew 8:25-27


When You Fall Asleep Hating Yourself

There will come a night, not too far away, that you’ll lie awake in bed with tears streaming onto your pillow.  You’ll wish you were different; thinner, prettier, better… or maybe you’ll wish you weren’t you at all.  I know this night will come because, I too, have deeply felt that shame, doubt, and pain.  And I think all of us have- it’s like a plague raining down on us that we cannot stop, even though we are all to blame.

On the night when these first tears roll down your face, come find me.  Let me hold you in my arms and tell you all the wonderful things you are and all the wonderful things you’ll be.  Let me tell you about your kindness, your love, your intelligence, your bravery.  I will tell you that all of these things make you beautiful.  And that your true beauty is found within your heart.  I will tell you that God doesn’t create anything that isn’t beautiful, He doesn’t make anything he doesn’t love.

You may not believe me.  Maybe you’ll roll your eyes.  But when you climb back into bed please promise me one thing:  I need you to tell yourself, “I am worthy.  I am enough.  I am me.”  Because let me tell ya something, little girl, YOU get to determine your self worth.  This outer beauty that our world has become so obsessed with will NOT get you into college, it will NOT allow you to be more loved- or even liked.  This outer beauty will NOT help you get a job and it will NOT be your success.  Because your body does not define you.

And after I place you back into your bed, wipe all of your tears away, kiss you on your forehead and send you off to Dream-land, I will cry all of my tears for you.  I will write down a thousand- no one million!- wonderful attributes that you posses.  I will pray you find strength to see past the girl in the mirror or the girl on the scale and know- AND TRULY KNOW- how perfect you are.




To Mrs. Lucy’s Kindergarten Teacher

In just three weeks from today, I will nervously drive my five-year-old into the parking lot of your school.  I will hesitate to unbuckle her while she kicks and sobs and fights me.  I will watch other parents take pictures of their sweet babies with brand new shoes and sparkly backpacks while they’re cheesin’ next to the front door.

You will already know she has been diagnosed with ASD, but when I’m coaxing [maybe pleading] her into the classroom, please don’t be nervous.  I assure you… while these first moments of the day will be the hardest, you’ll quickly see past anxious-angry-terrified Lucy and see her kindness, humor, and her big heart.

Let her be different- like all of your other kiddos.  Remember that she will always be different, but never less.  She won’t want to be the line leader or be the first to solve addition problems.  She may never want to do silly games or play with the other children.  Encourage her.  Encourage her.  Encourage her.

Don’t be offended when she doesn’t want to say “good morning” at drop-off.  Don’t get discouraged when she says “I don’t like school!” When she refuses to participate, don’t take it personally.  It will happen.  Let it roll off your shoulders and hope for a positive day.

Remember that in three weeks when I come into your classroom with red and puffy eyes,  I am handing over my most prized possession.  I am entrusting you with this tiny little person who has filled my entire heart.  I will count down the hours-minutes-seconds until she’s in my arms again, while you are broadening her mind with stories and numbers and turn-taking.

We will be an incredible team- you and I.  Working together to make this child’s future so very bright.  The priceless lessons that you teach her, I will reinforce at home.  I promise to work with you in order to best serve her.

And lastly, thank you.

Thank you for your time.  Thank you for hugs, your caring heart and firm voice.  Thank you for passionately teaching kids- one of the most important jobs there is!

Good luck.  She’s a peach.



Parenting Stinks.

Through my years of parenting, I’ve come to realize how odd it is to feel like parenting is the absolute best thing and simultaneously the absolute worst thing ever. Is there anything else that can compare? How is it possible for you to be so completely in love with a tiny human who screams and makes huge messes and smells like a mix of baby lotion and poo? But these smells are what I’ve found to be some of the best and some of the worst parts of parenting. Giving me plenty of lovely memories, as well as allowing me to recall some of those nauseating circumstances.

Here are 18 smells, good and bad, that are unmistakable once you’ve become a parent.

1. Let’s get it out of the way… poo. All poo stinks, but some are worse than others. The blue poo that happens after you’ve caught your toddler finishing the entire blueberry container. That sandy-colored poo that happens after you transition the baby into whole milk. The first poo in the toilet that you let permeate in the bathroom so Daddy can see it when he comes home.

2. The smell of melted wax that has now been saturated into the fibers of your minivan after leaving the new school supplies in the hot, humid Minnesota summer sun.

3. The unmistakable smell of a sick kid… the combo between Vicks, the pink syrupy antibiotics and the tissues with lotion.

4. Boiling macaroni noodles. Because it’s the third time this week you’ve made it for lunch since you don’t have the energy to deal with a hunger strike.

5. The beautiful combination of summer… the mixed smell of sweat and sunscreen.

6. The smell of fresh, clean sheets at the crack of dawn after the 2am bed wetting.

7. Baby nap breath. Which is unfortunately the only time in your life that your mouth doesn’t smell like a garbage truck after waking up.

8. Post birthday party vomit. Complete with cake, pizza, juice and all the other crap that your deprived child hoarded.

9. The gut-wrenching stench of sweaty feet after your child refused to wear socks with their tennis.

10. Burnt popcorn, cookies and toast while they’re still learning the basics.

11. The vanilla and almond smell of your old favorite childhood book as you open the pages and invite your child into your lap.

12. Chlorine. Swimming lessons, water park trips, hotel pools. So many memories are made next to that smell.

13. The smell of your pediatrician’s office. Can someone please pass me a Diet Coke while I wait here for 2 hours with my screaming child?

14. The three-time reheated leftover tacos since you haven’t found an opportunity for lunch.

15. The baby lotion on your sweet and snugly toddler while cuddling up for “The Hungry Little Caterpillar” after your bath time routine.

16. Soiled milk in the sippy that you left at Nana’s house from your visit 34 days prior.

17. The crisp autumn air smell that lies in your child’s hair after playing outside in the leaves.

18. And finally, the smell that makes your uterus smile. The smell that reminds you of heaven. The most unforgettable and precious smell of all… newborn baby hair.

Bottom line… parenting STINKS. Both literally and figuratively.