Dear Kids, I hope you see the world with wonder…

Dear Kids,

As we travel you will see many different things. You will see beautiful things, you will see hard things, you will see happy things, and you will see things that will forever leave you changed. That’s a good thing my love. I hope you meet the world, that you come to know it as your friend, and that you learn to love it with your whole heart.

I hope that no matter what you see, that you never stop opening your eyes wide with wonder.

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Dinnertime Madness: Why it’s the Worst, and How to Survive

They say that family dinners around the table are very important. I completely agree. Mostly because it’s character building. It’s very important to learn how to feed people that do not want to be fed, while attempting to have meaningful conversation. It’s kind of like highschool math…it’s unclear HOW this is going to help you in your future, but it will.

I guess It teaches patience. At least I’m assuming that’s what it does, it hasn’t worked on me yet, but we are all awaiting this gift with eager expectation.

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I Never Wanted to be a Helicopter Parent, but I am one.

I like to think of myself as fun and relaxed, as brave with a touch of crazy. I’m the one who loves to laugh and awkwardly dance in public, the one who jumped off the cliff first and who shaved her head because she felt like it. I’m the one who traveled across the world alone.

So naturally, I thought I was going to be a really fun parent. A free spirit, spontaneous and unconcerned with dirt or danger. I’d probably raise kids who were sponsored by Red Bull they’d be so fearless and capable.

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10 Reflections on Raising a Threenager

I have raised four threenagers. The first one was a kleptomaniac. The second one was a nudist with a rage problem. The third one was a tiny dictator. The fourth one is not out of the woods yet.

When I discovered my first one had a problem with stuffing his backpack with other people’s baby monitors and sound machines, I realized that I had failed as a mother. First step Sophie the Giraffe…next step diamond heist.  I was plagued with visions of visiting him in his orange prison uniform.

Turns out being three is not permanent. I don’t usually find iphones and name brand sneakers in my nine-year-old’s backpack.  So, hang in there parents.

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Family of Six Travels the World with Friends

I have a very exciting announcement I’ve been dying to tell you all!!

On April 8th we are leaving for a 4-5 month trip around the world. Our stops will include  the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In case you are wondering I AM FREAKING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!!

Through the blog and our brand new company Wylder Pursuits we have been able to make connections and gain sponsorships for our trip. (To discuss working together, email jess@wonderoak.com for more information.)

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What My Marriage Needed: Best Friends

When we first got married I was so excited to do EVERYTHING together. I couldn’t wait. I worked at a coffee shop and I told a friend of mine that I was even going to start working with Graham (as a self-employed window washer). “This is a terrible idea.” he said.

I’m not sure if it was my inability to clean things, or the fact that I wanted to spend 24 hours a day with only one person that tipped him off.

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Mom Runs for Beer: Instructions on how to start running from a non-pro.

Now before I start this, let me just tell you, I’ve been running for 3 months. I am similar to that lady who ranted on Facebook about how parenting isn’t an excuse to not shower and have crumbs under the couch– and she has exactly one 2-week-old infant. We’ve all been collectively giggling while we sip our wine, and fist bumping thinking of toddlers running through Cheerrios on her freshly vacuumed carpet. I was thinking of emailing her to see if she could come shave my legs for me.

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Mother’s Day for Every Mom

Years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to South Africa. The highlight of my trip was the period of time I got to stay in Bottlebrush, an informal settlement where the rates of sickness and HIV were astronomical. There I met the most beautiful girl, Monica (her english name). She was a little younger than me at the time. She was the happiest, most joy filled person I’d ever met with a contagious twinkle in her eyes. She had dreams of becoming a doctor and she would have been an amazing one, but a couple months after our trip we received word that she had passed away from preventable disease.

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Dear First Born, It’s not you, it’s me.

Dear First Born,

I remember the day I first held you in my arms. You became, and I also became. I’d thought about motherhood for a long time, about how I’d be and how you’d be. But I was still so unprepared. Heaven and Earth kissed for a moment and I’d never felt so sure and so uncertain all at the same time.

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Confessions from a Stay at Home Mom

I know you think I wear yoga pants and athletic-T’s because I spend my days doing pilates while my kids practice Mozart on their harmonicas. But, I’m here to tell you, I wear them because they’re stretchy.

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