— 1 —

My mother-in-law brought a small tent with her last weekend. She set it up in the backyard and both kids climbed in – Nathan sans undies because … potty training. I looked at Mr. Andi and asked, “Over/under on 15 minutes.” He claimed “over” and I ducked inside to grab my phone to use as a timer.


Before I even got it set … pee pee in the tent. Mr. Andi lost.


— 2 —

You saw the photos of Nathan and the crab on Tuesday, but did you see the video? It’s short and sweet, I promise.

— 3 —

I don’t know how I stumbled upon them, but I am in love with these Saint Softies! How cute are they?

They have well known ones like St. Francis de Sales, older ones you don’t hear much about anymore like St. Catherine of Alexandria, new ones like St. Kateri Tekakwitha, and many I’ve never heard of before (which I will avoid specifically noting lest I expose my ignorance unnecessarily). Adorbs!

— 4 —

The Coke marketing people are brilliant. Nathan spotted his name on a bottle of Coke in the grocery store the other day, so of course I had to buy it. Then I spotted one that said “Sarah” and grabbed it, too. Do you know how often I buy Coke? Almost never. They’ve been sitting on the counter just like this all week because now I don’t want to drink them.


— 5 —

POTTY UPDATE: The good news is that Nathan is consistently using the big potty at home, and has made several successful short trips (read: 30 minutes or less) out of the house without accidents. The bad news? If I put underwear on him for more than a half hour he pees (or worse) in it. Can I send him to preschool without pants? No? Then we still have some work to do…

— 6 —

Our college-softball-playing friend Abbey knew that Sarah Kate pulled for the University of Alabama softball team to win the Women’s College World Series back in the spring, and decided to contact them and tell them about Sarah Kate, her love of softball, and her inability to play this year because of her surgery. Earlier this week, a giant package arrived on our doorstep for her.



Inside she found a letter from the team, two T-shirts – an Alabama Softball one and a (Coach) Patrick Murphy Softball School one – a signed small poster of the team, a small poster of the 2012 WCWS Champion team, and a giant framed (and personalized!) SEC Champions poster. If you look closely, you can see that one side of the championship ring has Sarah Kate’s name and jersey number on it.

WOW. She is over-the-moon excited about it, and I have to admit that it was pretty special.

— 7—

If any of you have connections with Auburn University Softball and can get them to send Sarah Kate something even better and/or more personal that would be awesome. Because … epic rivalry. And seriously, peeps…two Auburn alumni simply CAN’T send their only daughter off to Tuscaloosa in seven years. We just can’t.

Have a great weekend!

This post was inspired by and is linked to Conversion Diary‘s 7 Quick Takes.





Remember back when we moved Nathan to the big boy bed, but he wouldn’t nap in his room because … daylight … or something? Back when my queen size bed was converted, like clockwork, into a jump-jump each afternoon? No? Then feel free to read up on it here and come right back.


But then remember how a year later I found the nuns (Hallelujah!) and the clouds parted and the angels sang because Mother Angelica and the nuns of OLAM worked their magic and lulled Nathan to sleep every afternoon in what would previously have been record time, and all without flailing limbs? The OLAM nuns were even magical in person.


Ah, yes … those were the days … a sweet boy snuggled next to me while I worked on blog posts or bills or caught up on the DVR. The dogs especially enjoyed naptime, I think, because … sleep. And in Stella’s case, snuggles with warm bodies.


Though on occasion, the coveted snuggle was preceded briefly by an affectionate chokehold.


We even managed to get in one good afternoon snuggle nap in pajamas because #ICEPOCALYPSE2014 struck the usually mild Mayberry this winter.


But, alas, it appears that the afternoon snuggle nap has come to end. Three out of the last four days I’ve spent 90 minutes (or more) waiting for him to fall asleep – 90 minutes of failure. That fourth day? He did fall asleep, but he didn’t sleep long. So as much as I hate to do it, I’m calling it: The Era of the Snuggle Nap is over.


Farewell, Afternoon Snuggle Nap. You will be missed.



Let’s Talk About Special Needs Parent Guilt

July 30, 2014

I’ve got a new guest post up today at DifferentDream.com about the guilt that special needs parents (and especially moms) have – it’s similar to the guilt that all moms have, but more intense because our children’s needs are more intense. We blame ourself for our children’s condition, or we feel guilty when we don’t push […]

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Inner Beauty Beach: The Return

July 29, 2014

A month ago, I stated that we wouldn’t go to the beach this summer. I was sure the only time my toes would sink in the white-sand beaches and my clothes would smell like the salt air would be the day that my friend Leigh Ann eloped on our favorite beach. Mr. Andi was only slightly more […]

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Sun-Beams: July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014

Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week. A Letter to My Son About Autism - A poignant look into one family’s […]

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Seven Snippets: Baseball, Losing Your Therapist, and Potty Progress

July 25, 2014

— 1 — It’s been a week of baseball here in Mayberry! The Dixie Youth 11-12 state tournament was held here from Saturday through yesterday and both of our local teams were in it – one as the host team, and the other as their district winner. Several of the players are the same kids […]

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Seven Years Ago: Sarah Kate Gets a Throwback Thursday

July 24, 2014

Several weeks ago, I mentioned the idea of adding a “Throwback Thursday”-type post as a regular feature on the blog, since Nathan’s entire preschool-hood is documented here in photos but Sarah Kate got the shaft for the first seven years. crickets chirping I scrapped that idea but I’ve been doing some more organizing of my photos […]

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Freedom Is Still a Little Ways Off

July 22, 2014

On Sunday morning, we resolved to put Sarah Kate on her bike. Her therapists have been advocating it for a little while, but the last time we tried ended in frustration – mine and hers. I hoped things would go better this go ’round. They did. Sort of. It started with me taking her out, […]

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Sun-Beams: July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014

Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week. The interior strength of a painter with cerebral palsy - Her art is stronger […]

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Seven Snippets: The #PopeCup, The ESPYs, and Recommend a Book for Me

July 18, 2014

— 1 — I’m a few days late, but the #PopeCup memes are still funny, right? This one was my fave:   — 2 — I need a book recommendation. I haven’t been too enthused about anything I’ve read lately, with a few exceptions: the Hunger Games Trilogy (that I finished over a year ago), […]

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