The Great Big NYC Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Mother’s Day is upon us, and to celebrate the fabulous Heather over at US Japan Fam has put together an amazing Mother’s Day giveaway for us NYC moms! I’m so excited to be taking part in this – Heather has put together an amazing  prize package full of  products and services just for moms in New York City. Read about the prizes (valued over $1,100!!!) below and enter to win at the bottom! Good luck!!!

Mothers Day Giveaway

Photoshoot with Christina Marotto
Christina Marotto is a fabulous high-end lifestyle photographer in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn offering everything from boudoir to maternity to newborn and children sessions. Our grand prize winner will receive Christina’s “Beauty Session” package, including full hair and makeup by Exclusive Stylist Danielle Paquette, a 60-minute photo shoot, 2 signature 11×14 prints with web copies, and 15% off any additional prints with digitals. What’s more? Your kids can enjoy playing at indoor play gym Play Days and Parties during the shoot (Christina’s studio is in the back)! A $700 value!

$150 Gift Certificate to Garden Acupuncture
Garden Acupuncture, located in the heart of Park Slope, is owned by Alex Goldberg & Lisa Metgzer – they’re not only partners in business but also in life, sharing two beautiful daughters. Named one of the top 5 places to get acupuncture in Brooklyn, Garden Acupuncture offers Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, herbs and nutritional counseling. Their team has over 50 years of combined clinical experience and unique training, allowing them to offer specialized services for Women’s Health, Pain Conditions and Pediatric Care. Enjoy the one-on-one care and personalized service while you zen out in their tranquil space. Our grand prize winner will receive a Gift Certificate to Garden Acupuncture for Initial Consult, Examination & Treatment ($150 Value Gift Certificate expires 1 year from date of issue and is not transferable; does not cover herbs or supplements and fertility consult/services).

$25 Gift Certificate to The Coop
The Coop is the latest and greatest cafe to come to “Ba(b)y Ridge”. Located just off the R-line’s Bay Ridge / 95th Street Station (at 9504 4th Ave), this oh-so kid-friendly restaurant and coffee bar features a kid’s indoor/outdoor play area (or “coop”), allowing parents and caregivers to enjoy their coffee, brunch, or beer/wine (alcohol license pending) while their littles have fun! At this family-run eatery you’ll find plenty of organic grub, as well as the only “draft latte” and “draft cold brew” in all of Bay Ridge! Our grand prize winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to The Coop, to be enjoyed with or without her kiddos in tow!(The Coop will be opening literally any day now – check their Facebook page to stay up to date!)

In-Home Haircut by Laura Dyer
Freelance hairstylist and Brooklyn mom, Laura Dyer, brings 10 years of licensed experience right to your living room, offering in-home haircuts for children and adults! Our grand prize winner will receive one complimentary adult hair cut in the comfort of her own home ($75 value; travel fee may apply if outside of the Greater Bay Ridge area).

Custom 10″ Cake by Gigi’s Sweet Revenge
Whether you have an upcoming baby shower, birthday party, smash cake photo session, or just like devouring sweets that are almost too pretty to eat, Gigi’s Sweet Revenge has got your cake needs covered! Our grand prize winner will receive credit for one 10″ custom-design cake of her choice, which serves about 20 people. ($60 value; delivery fee may apply  beyond the Greater Bay Ridge area).

It Works Body Wrap
You’ve seen those “crazy wrap” photos, but now is your chance to try one! Our grand prize winner will receive one It Works Ultimate Body Applicator ($59 value), a cloth wrap infused with a botanically-based formula to tighten, tone, and firm your skin in just 45 minutes, with progressive results over 72 hours.

$50 Gift Certificate to Dashing Diva
More than a nail salon, Dashing Diva is a destination! Featuring their own line of nail lacquer, they take sanitation seriously with each customer having their own personal manicure or pedicure kit and no whirlpools foot baths, razors, or reusable foot files. Our grand prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Brooklyn Heights location (130 Montague Street), courtesy of Allaya ofBabydroppings.

3 Month Birchbox Subscription
Birchbox offers monthly deliveries of deluxe beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples, tailored to your profile. Try cult brands, up-and-coming lines, and everything in between. Shay of Bebe To Bee will be contributing one 3-month Birchbox subscription to our grand prize winner, a $30 value.

Posh to Meet You Set by Perfectly Posh
Perfectly Posh carries naturally-based products to pamper your hands and feet, body, hair, face and lips, and even your man! Our grand prize winner will receive the Posh to Meet You Set ($19 value) which includes Good Vibes (hand crème), Strawberry Fields Forever (soap), and Santa Monica Smooth (lip balm).

dōTERRA Essential Oils
dōTERRA essential oils can be used for a wide array of emotional and physical wellness applications. For example, they can be diffused for calming effect, applied topically to reduce skin imperfections, or ingested as dietary supplements! Our grand prize winner will receive a 5mL bottle of Wild Orange for energizing and revitalizing, as well as samples of trio,blends trio, On Guard natural whitening toothpaste, and deep blue rub ($14 value).

There you have it! The giveaway is open to US residents over age 18 and will run through 11:59 PM EST on Monday, May 2. The grand prize winner will be chosen randomly and e-mailed on Tuesday, May 3. The winner will have 24 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen. Should the grand prize winner pass on any of the prizes, another winner will be chosen for those select prizes, so there’s a possibility to have more than one winner! OK, ready… set… GO!!! (enter in the Rafflecopter box below).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Lucky Shoes – French Sole For The Win!

I used to wear high heels. My darling mother drilled it into me at a young age that formal occasions and formal wear of any sort demands heels. (It was the South, cut me some slack – we love a good formal wear occasion down South) Now, does anyone remember last year when we found out I had torn my left meniscus? Farewell my high heels…farewell, you were a danger to my comfort. Now right around the time I dropped off a giant bag of beloved heels at my local thrift shop, my husband’s show was nominated for an Emmy. I found myself with a fabulous dress, but a severe lack of fabulous shoes. The occasion called for fabulous – what’s a strictly flats wearing girl to do?! The week before the big event I was invited to a preview of the latest collection at French Sole. I mentioned my dilemma and the ladies in the shop rose to the challenge and gifted me with these gorgeous flats:

emmy french sole nycjenny

French Sole Belle 2 Sport Glitter flats with an Emmy on the side.

Spoiler alert – my husband’s show won that Emmy. Then we went out dancing until roughly 3am.  My shoes stayed on the whole time and I was so comfortable. Take that, torn meniscus! One of the ladies in our party ended up barefoot in Times Square because her “fabulous” heels gave her such pain. Barefoot in Times Square? No thanks.

Since that Emmy winning night on the town, I’ve gone on to wear these French Sole glitter flats to many a date night, girls night out, my 40th (!) birthday party and get this, to my husband’s SECOND EMMY WIN. It’s official these are my lucky shoes. They’re actually the only pair of shoes in my closet that are kept in their original shoe box swaddled in tissue when not worn. I treasure them and the memories I’m collecting in them.

I’ve gone on to collect two more pairs of French Soles. I think they’re becoming a small addiction of mine. They’re comfortable, super cute and go with everything from jeans to formal wear. So comfortable I recommend them to anyone who will listen, and I know I’m not the only one! I’ve overheard women in the store discussing how they buy several new pairs every time they’re in town!

Two weeks ago I was back in the shop for a sneak preview of the upcoming Fall collection and I found lots to love – including some heels for those of you who can’t live without! There were new evening looks and several daytime options that had me drooling. Here’s a little selection of what caught my eye:

French Sole Fall 2016 NYCJENNY

Clockwise from left: Terrazzo, Sara and Sweet

French Sole Fall 2016 Collection NYCJenny

Clockwise from left: Jigsaw (velvet!), Tangent, Talent and Tumble

French Sole shoes are easy to find online and if you’re here in NYC you should absolutely stop by their shops on Lexington Avenue. The outlet especially should not be missed if you’re a lover of a good bargain (and who isn’t?).

Ballet flats have been all the rage for quite a while now, and I’m hoping they stay that way. I adore them. I’m not out to convert everyone to all flats all the time, but I’m happy the option exists. Flats don’t have to be just for daytime looks – me and my lucky French Soles will stay out dancing all night, thank you very much!

A Very Merry Star Wars Christmas With Hallmark!

When last we spoke of Christmas decorations, I was deep into pulling out the twinkling lights, evergreen swags, and Santa Clauses. I love, love, LOVE traditional Christmas decorations! I also love watching my child’s excitement at decorating. He was so thrilled to see the lights go up in our window! Direct quote? “I missed those pretty lights!” While searching for a few new things to add to our Christmas decoration collection we came across the Star Wars itty bittys. How cute are these guys all dressed up for Christmas?!hallmark star wars itty bittys

Jack’s enthusiasm for them won me over. Never in a million year would I have guessed I’d decorate with Star Wars characters, but there you go. My kid is in heaven! AND not only are they super adorable, but right now for each Star Wars holiday itty bittys you purchase, Hallmark will donate $1 to Toys for Tots. So get on over to your local Hallmark before these cute little guys disappear – help spread cheer this holiday for all your Star Wars fans big and small!

I allowed Jack to pick one to bring home for our tree, and immediately snuck back for more the next day. Hid one in our advent calendar. Tucked one into the evergreens for a surprise. I TRIED to save one for his stocking, but then found R2-D2 in the sweetest place…

Do you have a little Star Wars fan in your life? RUN to Hallmark – these little guys are age appropriate, cuddly and did I mention super cute? Where would you hide one of these itty bittys for your little Star Wars fan?

Small Space Decorating For the Holidays With Hallmark

In case you haven’t heard, New York City apartments are small. Very small. It normally doesn’t bother me in the slightest – it’s cozy, keeps us close and there is less to clean! At least once a year though I really wish I had a bit more space – during the holidays. I wish we could put up a huge tree. I wish I had a fireplace with an antique mantel to decorate – oh the things I could do! But necessity is the mother of invention and I’ve come up with many ways to squeeze holiday cheer into a small space. Like window sills – if you’re lucky you have a very deep one and can decorate it up! This year I’m working with Hallmark and some of their new super cute Christmas decorations to brighten up our little home.

Hallmark Christmas Decorations NYCJenny

I love going to Hallmark at Christmas time. I look forward to exploring their new holiday items each year and taking the time to pick out my annual ornament. I’ve been collecting Hallmark Keepsake ornaments since 1996 when I had a summer job in a Hallmark store in North Carolina. So let’s just say I jumped at the opportunity to work with them on this story! Can you spy the lantern in the photo above?  That’s their Flickering Lantern Decoration new this year. It was the first thing I saw when I walked into my local store and I LOVE it.

Hallmark flickering lantern

Here’s a video I made with all the details of how I put that look together and secured it to the window sill (we have a cat and a 4 year old – need to keep it secure!). Plus a little surprise I tucked into it for our little boy. What’s Christmas without a few surprises after all!

Kick Flipper Review

Disclosure: We were given a Kick Flipper in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own – as always!

My 4-year-old is an equal opportunity sports nut. If there’s a sport out there – he wants to try it, and we encourage it. When he started asking for a skateboard though…yeah no. Not yet, Buddy. Mama can’t stomach that one yet. Then this summer while at Blogger Bash the folks at PlaSmart Toys introduced me to the Kick Flipper and I was instantly intrigued. When they offered to send Jack one to try out? I KNEW he would flip for it (pun completely and totally intended).

Kick Flipper NYCjenny

It’s basically a skateboard with no wheels. You can use it on the grass, sand, or even carpet. Beginners can learn skateboarding tricks safely! It’s recommended for ages 5+, but as you can see in this little video, my 4 year old had no problem hopping right on and learning some tricks.

So sorry I cut off his cute little, “Did you see that?” at the end. He was so proud of himself.

It’s really lightweight, so it’s easy for him to carry to the park. I also really love letting him use it at home. We have a super long hallway in our apartment building that is fully carpeted, and we had fun taking running jumps onto the Kick Flipper to slide down the hall. I wish I had a bigger living room to play in with this thing! I think it’ll be a great toy to help burn off some energy inside on crazy cold winter days.

The Kick Flipper website has lots of images and tips of tricks to learn on your Kick Flipper. It’s available on Amazon as I write this for $19.99. A great toy that keeps my kid moving, gives him the ability to pretend he’s one of the big guys out skateboarding, and doesn’t break the bank. Plus it’s small, lightweight and easy to store. Always a bonus for us in our tiny city apartment!

Major thumbs up on this one – put it on the Christmas list for the sports crazy kids in your life!

PLAYMOBIL and NHL For the Win!

According to my Facebook feed today, there are ten Fridays left until Christmas and you know what that means – let the wish lists begin! I’m sure my child isn’t the only one already on his first (or second) draft of a Santa letter. Now as a parenting blogger I’m often given the chance to preview toys before the general public, and back in July I saw some of Playmobil’s new play sets. I came home and told Jack to put nothing in stone yet. Not to make too big of deal out of it, but Jack – they made an NHL Playmobil set. Little Playmobil Rangers guys!

Playmobil Rangers NHL

Playmobil and the NHL have teamed up to deliver the coolest new hockey play set, and two weeks ago we were given the chance to attend the launch and meet one of my son’s heroes, a real live Ranger, Rick Nash. My husband was pretty darn excited too and offered to come along and help. I decided to put him to work and had him ask Rick about what his favorite hockey toy was as a kid. Jack tried to help…

So maybe the kid won’t grow up to be a reporter…

Great toys give kids a chance to use their imagination and immerse themselves in pretend. For some reason my little boy who has never even tried on a pair of ice skates is obsessed with hockey. He has a few play sets and figurines, he collects cast off pucks down at the street hockey rink and pretends he’s a Ranger scoring winning goals. When I saw this Playmobil set I couldn’t wait to show him. It has EVERYTHIING a kid needs to host his own mini playoff series. Right down to a tiny little Stanley Cup. There’s even a Zamboni.

playmobil nhl displayThe detail is super cool. Jack loved being able to use the included stickers to customize his figurine. He was thrilled to see that you can get referees. We all loved how you can really shoot the puck at the net with the trigger action on the players.

Playmobil NHL Set NYCJennyHuge thumbs up on this one, Playmobil! It ticks all the boxes my little hockey fan requires, and has made it to the top of his Christmas list. I suspect it will be that way for a lot of hockey loving kids this holiday season. The full line will be available October 15th and you’ll be able to find it at places like Amazon.

Ten Fridays left people, TEN FRIDAYS.

Life Update – The Summer I Got a Job

Let’s dust off this old blog, shall we? Every day it seems like I wake up with the best of intentions and think that today is the day I will blog! Instead today is usually the day that I find approximately 15 other things to do by noon, my to-do list grows, and my boss has a busy day.

My boss?

Did I mention that I started a part-time temp job back in the Spring? Well I did, and out of superstition I didn’t really want to talk about it. Surely if I spoke of the job…I would lose the job. I haven’t worked since Jack was born four years ago. That’s a LONG time! The job sort of came out of nowhere and is primarily working remotely (i.e. from home) and as that’s the holy grail of working mom jobs…I went for it. We’ll figure the logistics out as we go along, I said.

I have so many thoughts on working from home now. It’s great, it’s hard, it’s perfect, it’s maddeningly difficult… The few days I actually go into an office feel almost like a small vacation. Complete with last minute packing insanity. Last week my childcare fell through an hour before I was to leave, Jack was on a break from camp and I almost lost my cool trying to find a solution. Yesterday morning he threw himself on the floor and declared that he would be “so bored at camp without you mommy!”. At tennis camp. The camp he was so excited to start? Seriously? Thanks for the guilt, kiddo.

I’m becoming a unique expert on both of sides of the working mom vs stay at home mom debate/war.

It’s summer though and summer is made for flexibility and this odd, part-time, work from home job has lent well to playground time, running through sprinklers, begging the neighbor’s nanny to take Jack outside with her charge too, and pulling my hair out while trying to be everything to everyone. I’m not gonna lie, it has also helped a great deal with the unexpected expenses that sometimes come out of nowhere in family life. This has been an incredibly GOOD THING. And yet, summer’s not what it was. Of course it hasn’t been. Tonight I fell down the rabbit-hole of my photo archives and looked back over all of Jack’s previous summers. I swear I wasn’t crying – my eyes just got a little damp from all the dust I haven’t had time to clean. Clearly it’s not because he used to be so tiny and sweet, and I had what I thought was all the time in the world with him…

I see why he was so upset this morning. Sure he’s had a year of school and is completely used to not hanging out with me 24/7 by now, but somewhere in his brain is nestled the memory of lazy summer days with mom. Last summer we’d stroll to an outdoor soccer class in the mornings and then hit the playground for a few hours till Roger came home.

Memory plays tricks on us, and from the distance of a year it seems like it was idyllic. I miss it, he misses it, and I have such guilt I can’t even describe it. Last summer though? I know by July we were at each other throats and oh so bored because everyone else was away or in a camp program! Yet here we are and Jack keeps insisting that we should just go to Central Park, Mom! Of course he does, it’s been our summer spot for years now. Our special routine of endless summer days in that park – he wants to call it back.

This is us, learning and growing, Jack. You’re no longer a toddler, and I no longer have zero responsibilities outside the home. Our roles are changing and it’s hard on both of us. I promise you, this is hard on me too, now please let me have an extra bedtime hug and kiss?

Which brings us to the subject of camp. Jack has had his first taste of real summer camp! Roger and his sisters are camp people. I myself never went, but they went every summer and eventually became counselors themselves. Camp is a big deal to that family. So off he went on the big yellow bus to try it out. Day camp only, calm yourselves people – he’s only four! He liked it, but said they didn’t do sports a lot. It was only for three weeks. Baby steps.

Edited Camp bus pic

We took a break, went to the woods for family and friend time. To swim in a mountain lake, stay up too late, and eat ice cream under wide open summer skies.

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We went to the playground, and tried camp mom again.

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That week of camp mom again was killer, not gonna lie. Right back to the boredom (for him) and frustration (for me). You see, when you work at home you have to say no so many times it hurts. “Just one more minute.” “In a few minutes.” “let me finish this and then we’ll go” “want some more cartoons?!” It’s not good for either of us. So… We found a REAL sports camp for four year olds! So we’re trying this thing again. Because we have to keep trying. There’s a way to make this work. There has to be, right?

And that’s where we are now. I’m working. Jack’s playing sports. Roger’s working, playing softball, and taking a band break. I’m heading out with Dysfunctional Theatre to Governor’s Island again this weekend for more Millay. I think that having an entire weekend devoted to making some art, something just for me, will be good. Right now I’m wound up so tight, I might split in two. I fear that I’m becoming truly good at nothing, merely mediocre at everything. Even motherhood. It’s not a nice feeling. I need a break. My family needs me to take a break.

I’m looking forward to my breather this weekend on that little island in the harbor that has been so magical for us last summer and this. We in Dysfunctional jokingly call it our summer house now. House 8B in Nolan Park. You should stop by. We’ll let you sit in a rocking chair on our porch for a bit – maybe you need a break too.

There are three and a half weeks left of summer before Jack’s school starts, and even then it’s a slow start. I don’t think they run full schedule until September is mostly done. But still three and a half weeks are left. I need to stop the tears and find the joy. It’s been there, but the craziness has buried it at times. I will use the poetry and music of this weekend as a break for myself to reset. It’s not like I’ve failed at summer, far from it – I just need it to end on a high note. My boy is growing up so fast, I want a few last times to sit and watch him be little. Be happy and silly. Just be.

That’s what summer break is for after all. Pausing and resetting. Just being.

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6 Ways to Use Huggies Wipes Way Beyond the Baby Years!

My son Jack is way past the diaper stage now, but I still carry Huggies® Wipes everywhere we go. Oh yes, yes I do. I love being that over prepared mom who breaks out a package of  baby wipes to save the day on the playground. Okay, saving the day might be an overstatement, but still… Everyone likes being clean and breaking out a pack of Huggies® Wipes to wipe down the kids’ messes is usually met with smiles by everyone else. It’s not just kids making the messes I need to clean though – there are plenty of adult messes I’m wiping up! Here are a few of my favorite ways to use baby wipes – bet you didn’t know the theater one!

Huggies Wipes NYCJenny

Backstage at the theater: Full confession, I used baby wipes long before I ever had a kid. They are indispensable for me at the theater. Baby wipes should be on every dressing table backstage at every theater. They can be used to wipe off make-up after the show when you don’t have time or the space (hello crazy Off-Off Broadway theater, I’m looking at YOU) to wash at a sink. You can use them to fix mistakes as you apply make-up too. I’ve saved many a botched eyeliner job with a baby wipe. I’m not lying, a nice, thick Huggies® Wipe will take that make-up right off! In those really tight quarters backstage they are handy to “wash” hands, wipe spills, clean a prop or anything else that might come up last minute when there is no way you have time to get to the sink before running on stage.

City feet in the summer: I can’t believe more people don’t do this one. Keep a pack of baby wipes by the front door and wipe your feet down after coming inside! Sandals + NYC Summers = Major YUCK. No joke, the bottom of your feet can get black with dirt and God knows what else during the summer here. I have no idea why we keep wearing sandals, but we do. I know some people who head straight for the bathroom to wash their feet in the tub, but that isn’t always practical and you’re still tracking that grossness all the way inside your home! Best to just keep some Huggies® Wipes on hand and take care of that nastiness before you get any further inside! I’ve made a lot of baby wipe converts with this tip.

Dining out: I always keep a travel pack in my purse. Kids are messy, but sometimes so are grown-ups! This past weekend we were out with family and our server was way off her game (to be polite about it) and didn’t see fit to bring out extra napkins or wet-naps with our messy meals. With one person ordering ribs, another peel and eat shrimp, and yet another having a pot of mussels… my pack of Huggies® Wipes was a welcome help at the end of that meal. Ever tried to feed the baby pasta while out and about? Classic.

Around the house: In a pinch a baby wipe can pretty much wipe down any surface in your home and make it presentable for last minute company. The floor, tables, those dusty baseboards I keep meaning to REALLY clean…

Traveling: How many times have you accidentally spilled something while driving? Or worse, while on an airplane? Whose laughing at me now for packing the baby wipes?!

At the beach or playground: Ice cream is always sold at these places. Enough said.

JackIceCream

I could keep going, but I’ll leave you with that mess about to happen!

If you aren’t a convert yet to baby wipes post diapers, Huggies and Wal-Mart have the scoop on Baby Wipes 101. Now you tell me, what are some of the different ways you use Huggies® Wipes?

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Review!

Last Friday I had the incredible good fortune to sit in on an intimate screening of Pixar’s latest film, “Inside Out” thanks to The Moms. Denise and Melissa even brought Bill Hader to us for a bit of a Q&A session before we saw the film! He was charming and funny – had the whole crowd laughing before the film even started!

 

I’ve been waiting for a Pixar movie to make me gush since “Up” back in 2009. The first ten minutes of that movie had me ugly crying into my popcorn and remains one of my favorite animated movies ever. “Inside Out” is here to give it a run for its money.

The film tells the story of Riley, a hockey loving little girl whose life is turned upside down when her family relocates from Minnesota to San Francisco. We spend most of the movie inside Riley’s head with the emotions that are guiding her through this experience and life in general. Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. They reside in Headquarters, a kind of mission control for Riley’s mind. We learn how memories are made and stored, and how our emotions sometimes war for control over us. I burst out laughing when Anger takes over with threats of making Riley use the one bad word he knows – I remember far too well the summer my own kid knew just one bad word…

I also remember being the new kid in town (3 separate times). I remember my imaginary friend (oh God, get your tissues out for that moment), and I remember how frightening and overwhelming things were a lot of the time growing up. Riley, we all feel for you because we’ve all BEEN you.

While trying to get acclimated to Riley’s new home in San Francisco, Joy and Sadness get lost, Riley gets all turned around as a result and there’s a race against time to get it all together. Poor Riley is so confused and missing her old home, but all the grown-ups keep telling her to be happy and smile. Joy up in headquarters just keeps trying to put Sadness in a tiny little circle – repression anyone? This is Pixar though and it all comes right in the end. With not a dry eye in the house, mind you. Later that night when I tried to explain the movie to Roger, “no no no – it turns out that we NEED Sadness because you see…” and then I literally started crying again.

Bring the kids (the ones around me loved it!), bring your spouse, bring your mom, your sister, your best friend…this is a movie for everyone. Be sure to pack a box of tissues to share. It’s a good cry though, I promise. The ending is just so beautiful.

Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens on Friday, June 19, 2015.

The End of a Great Year…

So just like that Jack’s first school year is over. In a flurry of end of school performances, stacks of “artwork” sent home, scuffed up white uniform sneakers, outgrown “just in case” clothes found in the back of his cubby, signing for a report card, hugs, high-fives, tears, and extra gift cards for the teachers because I wish I had gotten around to reading to the class just once and now I have GUILT…  it’s done.

Year one is in the books, and I couldn’t even get an in focus picture to document it.

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On the left is the first day of school way back in September. On the right is the last day of school. Same uniform shorts and pants – look how he’s grown! I think the last vestiges of baby fat melted off his cheeks while I wasn’t looking. He’s so tall now. And those are his second pair of uniform shoes on the right…at least a full size bigger than the one’s he started with. He’s grown out of fighting over every toy. For the final quarter he FINALLY got the highest mark for “Waits turn while speaking in a group”.

Funny he still can’t wait his turn when it’s just us three at the dinner table…

I cried. I did not cry on the first day of school, but I cried on the last. I cried because it was everything I thought it would be. Oh so much growing was done this year! It’s entirely possible that I was also shedding a tear or two because now it’s summer, and I work from home and what on Earth are we going to do before summer camp starts?

That my friends, is another post. For now I’ll take a rare moment to take a deep breath and look at how much my child has grown. I’m so proud and happy right now. I know the school years won’t always be as great as we imagine them to be, but this first year? It was perfect.