A Girl and Her Dog! (17 Months)...

June 28, 2016 by

  Ellie is now 17 months old!  Our nicknames for her are: Ellie Belly, Elle Belle, and Miss Jelly Belly. We call her Miss Jelly Belly because she is very jealous when she sisters get attention from me (their mom) – and she’s still pretty chubby!  Ha!  It’s all said in love. Miss Jelly Belly loves Daisy so much.  She has such a huge love for all animals.  Whenever we’re out and about, she squeals with delight when she sees a dog or a cat. Needless to say, she adores Daisy most of all!     Ellie loves to kiss Daisy, pet her, talk to her, and feed her.     Ellie has learned to be very gentle with Daisy.  She pets her softly and loves to give her kisses!     Ellie shares ALL her food...

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Easy Like Summer!

June 23, 2016 by

  We’ve been back from Indiana for a week now – it’s really flown! Remember how I said that I was streamlining the girls’ wardrobes and only putting them in elastic shorts and t-shirts?  Well, that lasted ONE day.  Haha.  Pretty much the second after I hit publish on that blog post, they were asking to wear their favorite dresses and skirts!  So, I went to the garage and unpacked everything.  Turns out these girls think of “summer dresses” when they think of summer! 🙂     We’ve been keeping busy with lots of walks: to the park, to the library, and all points in-between!  Ellie (16 months) loves the swings – she can’t get enough of them.  When Paprika was this age, all she wanted to do in the swings was GET OUT!...

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LOL Detective Club, Book 3 Is Here!...

June 20, 2016 by

  Oh my gosh – I know I just said that my next book in the LOL Detective Club Series would be released in the next few days, but Amazon went and put it up faster than I thought!  I’m so excited to share the latest installment in my kids’ Mystery Series – LOL Detective Club, Book 3: Cubnapping in Kenya! It’s available NOW on Amazon!!!!  Please go buy it and leave a review! 🙂  For right now, it’s only in eBook format.  The price is .99 JUST for the launch, and then the price will go up soon! Each book in the series is a stand-alone, so you can start with Book 3 even if you haven’t read the first two books!  They’re similar in reading level to Magic Tree House books and Nancy Drew and...

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Dinosaur Bones!

June 20, 2016 by

While we were in Indiana, we visited the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (the largest Children’s Museum in the world) – twice! We decided to become members, since our membership will last until the end of June 2017, so hopefully we can go a few times when we visit Indiana next year. 🙂 On the first visit to the museum, Mr. M, my dad, and my brother Robbie took the girls for the day so that I could go out to lunch with my friend, Ann! That was a rare treat for me. This is us at the restaurant we used to go to ALL the time back in the day (Bazbeaux’s). The restaurant’s changed a lot – but we’ve stayed the same. Haha.     So – I don’t have any photos from the first...

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Happy 7th Birthday, Ginger!

June 20, 2016 by

  On Saturday, Miss Ginger turned 7 years old!  This was the first birthday she’s had since she was a baby that happened on a weekend, when Mr. M could be home from work on her actual birthday.  That was reason enough to celebrate!     I had planned for us to go to Adventure City – like we did last year on Ginger’s birthday.  Mr. M has never been to Adventure City (can you believe that?!) – and I was excited for him to go.  (Probably more excited than he was – haha). But, we’re in the middle of a crazy heat wave right now in Southern California.  I asked Ginger if we should go to the amusement park and brave the high temps.  She said: I don’t think that’s a wise decision.  You know...

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Hello, Summer!

June 17, 2016 by

(pic above:  backyard at my mom’s house on the lake) We are back from a two week trip to the Motherland, my homeland…Indiana!  We weren’t sure if we would be able to go this year because of Mr. M’s work schedule on The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise – but we made it work!  This is our second year going back to Indiana to visit family – and we all look forward to it SO MUCH! We stayed at my Dad and Nana Nancy’s house (Nana Nancy is my step-mama, who I LOVE!) 🙂  Ginger (6) loves their backyard chickens, so collecting eggs each morning was a huge treat for her.     Breakfast with fresh, out of the backyard eggs:     Grandpa and Nana Nancy’s house is within walking distance of everything...

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Girls’ Party Week!

May 30, 2016 by

  I hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend!  Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to lately. 🙂 Dancing With The Stars finished last Tuesday (almost a week ago)!  Mr. M was working 80-100 hour weeks up until the Finale, which meant I was holding down the fort here solo pretty much.  His next show he’s working on is Bachelorette/Bachelor In Paradise.  I love watching it to see what’s going to happen next, so I never let him tell me spoilers.  Ha! Right after DWTS wrapped, Mr. M went on a guys’ trip with his buddies from high school.  It’s his tight core group of friends that he’s had since childhood.  He flew up to Seattle to see his friend Rey, and then they drove to Oregon to meet up with the rest of...

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15 Months Young!

May 23, 2016 by

(Pic above:  rare sleeping picture at gymnastics!  She’s cut back to one short nap/day now!)   Miss Ellie Belly is now 15 months old – and I figured I should write this post before she turns 16 months (in a few days).  Ha! There are so many exciting new things Ellie’s doing, and I want to keep track since this is the closest thing she has to a baby book. 🙂   She loves to stand and hold on to the rail of our backyard mini-trampoline.  She hasn’t figured out how to get down yet – so she “trees” herself quite often.  She’s been known to do the same thing with chairs, picnic tables, etc.  She figures out how to climb ON something, but then can’t climb down! Another recent development is that Ellie...

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Because We Have Each Other!

May 18, 2016 by

  Oh, hi! Can I tell you a cute story I want to remember? Please stop me if you’ve heard this one before… A few weeks ago, Ginger (6) was at two-hour gymnastics practice on a VERY hot day. The coach let the kids go get water, and Ginger let everyone go in front of her in line (she always does that). The coach blew the whistle just before Ginger had a chance to get a drink of water, and she asked him if she could go back to the drinking fountain. He said no. It was probably 95 degrees in the gym on that day, and Ginger was drenched in sweat. She had a full-on panic attack in the gym, and I didn’t know what was wrong (because I was on the other...

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The Fashion Police!

May 15, 2016 by

  On Friday, I took the girls to the park for the afternoon after we were done with our homeschool lessons. Ginger (6) insisted on wearing her Daddy’s shirt – and would not brush her hair (of course)!  It’s not worth the tears to get her to wear regular clothes  – even though we have a small army of beautiful outfits she could wear (passed down from big sister, Paprika).  But nope, it’s got to be Daddy’s shirt!  It makes me long for the days when she would only wear pajamas in public.  LOL     Violet (4) at the park on Friday:     So, on Saturday – I jokingly told Ginger that if she kept wearing her Dad’s shirts in public, the Fashion Police were going to come arrest her. (Totally joking). Well, I...

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Daughter’s Day!

May 9, 2016 by

  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Sunday was Mother’s Day, of course.  I have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day because it tends to leave so many people feeling left out (for lots of reasons).  And, of course, I always miss my twin daughters in Heaven especially on this day…and the fact that my own mom, stepmom, aunt, and Grandma live so far away!  So, I try to make the best of it and just have low expectations for the day…which always helps! Also, I try to stay off social media on holidays when I know I’ll be alone with the kids…it helps me to not be a “compare-bear” – as I like to say.  I really do think it’s true:  Comparison is the thief of joy. Mr. M had to work on Mother’s Day...

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Dreams Come True!

May 5, 2016 by

  Yesterday, we went to Devon’s Graduation from Nursing School!   From the moment I met Devon (almost) eight years ago, she told me that she had a lifelong dream to be a nurse!  She majored in Marketing in college, and didn’t think that going back to Nursing School was an option with small children and an already steady career. She is an AMAZING woman.  She’s has had four children in the NICU – her two daughters (born at 29 weeks and 31 weeks) – and her twin sons, Blake and Ethan, who passed away due to prematurity.  (We met at a support group shortly after Vivian and Annemarie, and Blake and Ethan passed away).  Needless to say, she has so much to offer families through her nursing care.  I’m so excited for her!!! Graduation Day: (Isn’t this...

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Happy Friday!

April 29, 2016 by

  Happy Friday! Thanks so much for the kind words of congrats on my book release yesterday! 🙂 Mostly, the girls were really excited to download it to their free Kindle app on the iPad. They’d already read the book before it came out, of course!  They are my beta readers. But, there’s something nice about having an official copy.  Ha! So, I wanted to post a few more pictures from this week (and last…and let’s face it, I STILL haven’t posted our Easter pics!) One fun thing we did this week was have Homeschool Book Club at our house! Yes, we hosted it this time – and guess what we read for book club? My book, of course! We read the first LOL Detective Club Mystery – which was super fun for me. The...

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Mermaid Magic!

April 28, 2016 by

  I know, I haven’t been blogging as much lately. I’ve been going CRAZY with my book writing! Earlier tonight, I published my second book in the LOL Detective Series (more on that later). And, I’ve also published my first full-length Romance Novel (under a pen name), and a non-fiction eBook (under a different pen name). This has all happened in the past two weeks – FOUR BOOKS! – so yes, I’ve been a busy bee! 🙂 The new cover for LOL Detective Club, Book 2: The Paris Puzzler!     I’ve been working ALL the time when everyone else is asleep, often staying up until 7am (I know) to get stuff done! I have to slow down soon, because I’m only getting about 2 hours/sleep per night and that’s not sustainable. Haha. But, there’s just...

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The Aquarium of the Pacific!

April 21, 2016 by

  Last week on Mr. M’s day off work (Tuesday) – we went to The Aquarium of the Pacific for the day!  Warning – this post is picture overload (I know!)  It’s just such a beautiful place – and we hadn’t been back since the Fall, so I took a lot of pictures. Sidenote:  If I’m not posting and you want to see pictures, check out my Flickr page.  I always upload pictures there first for the blog – and I usually have A LOT more pictures there than here.  I didn’t even think about it until my mom said she checks it for new photos. Good to know!  I’ve posted over 48,000 pictures to Flickr in the past few years.  How crazy is that?  I have to do the math and figure out...

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Paprika’s Trip To DWTS!

April 20, 2016 by

  Last week, Paprika (9) went to work with her Daddy – which is pretty great when your dad works on Dancing With The Stars!  She got to hang out backstage with Minnie, Mickey and Donald (it was Disney week, after all!) Paprika and Mr. M:   She met a bunch of the dancers and the celebrities – and just had a grand old time.   Paprika with Whitney (one of the dancers):   Here she is watching the live dress rehearsal before the show:     Watching the Dress Rehearsal up in the balcony:     During the show, her seats were down on the floor by the stage.  You can see her here in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.  I’m not sure where Mr. M is – haha!  (My friend sent...

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