Bunnies, buds, and bugs: 13 books for spring/summer

Bunnies, buds, and bugs: 13 books for spring/summer
Here are 13 great books that cover the topics of spring/early summer, flowers/gardening, (life cycles of) insects, and (farm) animals. The list is appropriate for ages 1-8, and also includes a few classics. Happy reading!

My game plan for the Longest. Summer. Ever.

My game plan for the Longest. Summer. Ever.
This year, our summer is 3+ months long: end of May until early September. Part of me loves that; part of me is mama deer in headlights. Here is my game plan for the Longest. Summer. Ever. ...

My husband got a vasectomy, and I was not expecting what happened next

My husband got a vasectomy, and I was not expecting what happened next
First of all, my husband is fine. This is not a story of balls gone wrong, so sorry to disappoint. Nor is this a surprise-we're-having-a-fourth-baby announcement. What we were not expecting was our seven year old's reaction... 7 year old: But WHY did you have surgery, Daddy? Daddy: Well, there's a procedure that a doctor can do that makes it so you can't have any more babies. Our oldest son's eyes went wide. He stared up at my husband, and then found his way down to me, playing on the floor with the baby. 7 year old: ...no more babies...? He burst into tears and crumpled to the floor. My husband and I looked at each other, shocked. Neither of us had told the kids the specifics, and neither of us had expected this. Me: Oh, buddy... I pulled him toward me, and he let himself be wrapped in my arms. He nuzzled his face into my shoulder and I could feel the trickle of tears and hear his little sniffles. We sat there on the kitchen floor, and I held my seven year old in the same way that I've been holding my almost-one year old. It is a strange stage of parenting in which we find ourselves......
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Where can I let go in 2019?

Where can I let go in 2019?
"Where can I let go in 2019?" That's a question I've asked myself lately, as I'm feeling tension between my boys and within me. Basically, I often want things to be different than they are. You could also call it not accepting my reality or having way too high of expectations. So, here's my plan for 2019...

Three ways to de-stress this holiday season

Three ways to de-stress this holiday season
As a recovering say-yes-to-everything, do-all-the-traditions kind of person, these exercises have helped me prioritize during the holidays. I am very grateful for my friend, Melissa, who introduced them to me. Here are three ways to de-stress this holiday season:...

Nine twists on fall traditions

Nine twists on fall traditions
  1. Collect leaves --> Go on a fall scavenger hunt: Take leaf collecting a step further and print out (or create) your own fall scavenger hunt. Kids can arrange their treasures on a large sheet of paper for parents to adhere with a hot glue gun. Pro tip: do this after the cherubs are in bed so you don't burn yourself. #beentheredonethat
2. Pick apples/pumpkins --> Do some apple/pumpkin baking: We all visit the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, and I bet we all bake something with our fall fruit loot. My kids LOVE using the "apple snake" (apple peeler, corer, slicer) that you can buy for $13. And since I don't need loaves of pumpkin bread tempting me, we bake using this pan ($13) and then give individual mini loaves to family and friends. 3. Chug apple cider --> Sip a fall steamer: Don't get me wrong. I appreciate a good mug of apple cider, but it's so much sugar, and my kids and I slurp it down so quickly. Buy a few bottles of Torani syrups with flavors such as Pumpkin Pie and Butterscotch. Steam some milk and add a tablespoon or two for a fall steamer. Add coffee for an autumn latte. 4. Go out for the game --> Create a DIY sports bar: It's fun to take the family out to a restaurant for the Bears game. Wait...what am I saying? No it's not! Avoid the meltdowns and overpriced appetizers by purchasing some frozen snacks at Costco. Throw them in the oven, set up a plastic table cloth near the couch (or ON it, if your kids are like mine), turn on the t.v., and open a beer that you didn't just pay $7 for...
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Six ways that ice cream saved our summer

Six ways that ice cream saved our summer
We had our third baby boy in February, but I was determined NOT to be home bound this June, July, and August. In late May, we kicked off our Gosser Family Ice Cream Adventure. Here are six ways that ice cream saved our summer:  ...

10 mistakes we've made in our marriage

10 mistakes we've made in our marriage
I could have titled this "10 things we've learned in our marriage," but that doesn't have the same ring to it. (See what I did there?) A friend recently reminded us that there is no failure; only feedback. Over the past decade, this Republican/Democrat, introvert/extrovert, sports lover/theater nerd couple has gathered a lot of feedback on what works. And perhaps, more importantly, what doesn't. Here are 10 mistakes we've made in our marriage:...

Five chores to teach your kids this summer

Five chores to teach your kids this summer
Here are five chores to teach your kids this summer. I recommend having low expectations, some favorite kids' songs, and a bottle of wine on hand. Keep in mind that some chores take 5-50 times to learn. I've broken chores down into several age-appropriate skills. When it comes to chores, imagine a scaffold. Your kid isn't going to wash all the dishes on day one. Start at the bottom and work your way up. You may be surprised: this past Christmas, my husband let our 6 1/2 year old help with Christmas lights. For our son, he got to go on the roof with Dad. For my husband, he had an extra set of hands, and someone to talk to. Chores can be a bonding experience. Or, they can suck, too. Low expectations, remember? :)...
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Five gifts for someone who just had a baby

Five gifts for someone who just had a baby
Baby Boy #3 is two months old, and my husband and I have been blown away by the kindness of our friends and family. Here are five gifts for the parents who just brought home a bundle of joy A home cooked meal. The appreciation of this gift cannot be overstated. My husband and I... Read more »