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Dear Hadley,

From the moment you were born your chief request has been for me to hold you.  I realize this is probably because you were afraid I would accidentally forget you somewhere.  It was a legitimate fear.  Instinctively from birth, you’ve known that you were gonna need to either hang on tight or make a lot of noise.

Which you did, coherently, at a very early age.

Wherever we went when you were a baby, people would stop me with a freaked out look on their face, point at you and whisper, “Did you know she can talk?”

From seven months on no one has ever had to question what was on your mind.  Oh, you want that bottle with an extra shot of formula?  Comin’ right up.  Even now when I wash dishes while you finish up your lunch, you’ll call over to me, “Mom… let’s talk about it.”  So I’ll immediately stop, dry my hands, sit down and you’ll launch into a half hour explanation of whatever is on your mind.  Usually dinosaurs or bath toys.

But really, what you’ve been most vocal about is to be carried.

So for the past three years, almost 24/7, I have lugged you here there and everywhere, yelling over my shoulder to your sisters to hold onto anything they can grab that is attached to my body as we run through parking lots and malls and Target and post offices, me constantly shifting arms because one always feels like it is on the verge of falling off.  The entire time you smile from ear to ear, look at me with those big brown eyes, stroke my cheek and tell me I look like a princess as I sweat, grunt and curse under my breath because you’re not exactly getting any lighter.

I have no doubt you are going to go on to have a lot of people do great things for you throughout your life.

You haven’t been the most laid back child, but I am guilty of letting a lot slide because you are my baby.  By the time Ellie was three she was out back chopping firewood and skinning dinner for her two little sisters.  Last week I chased you around the house trying to shove a bottle in your face “for old time’s sake”.  Sorry about the pacifier incident, by the way.  I really shouldn’t have pinned you down like that.

It’s so cliche, but the last child really does get the shaft in a lot of ways.  I had to straight up dig to find any pictures of you by yourself for this post, and sometimes I tear pages out of your baby book to jot down my grocery list.  I can’t recall you ever having worn an article of clothing not previously barfed on by someone else.  Which is actually okay with you because you’re totally flexible on your first layer of clothing.  But the second layer must consist of at least 2,000 layers of glitter-infused tulle.  We fight every morning about why you can’t wear my high heels to pre-school.

While you are sweet as pie, I’m fairly confident that you hold the record for amount of time spent in time out.  In fact, you are sitting there now, burning a hole in the back of my head as I type this.  At first I thought you were, umm, let’s call it “moody” because of that stubborn lateral incisor that insisted on barely popping through your gum and camping out there.  But no, I think it’s just your charm.  One minute you’ll be happily walking along, the next you’ve thrown yourself on the ground, screaming bloody murder, over something horrific like your sock touching your ankle.  I think you get that from your Dad.  The parenting books you’ve driven me to read tell me to call you “spirited”.

But oh sweet mother – even your tantrums are adorable.


I promise to try to always be excited about each of your milestones, even though it is my third time through.  I promise to always listen to everything you have to say.  I promise to try to be patient when you’re throwing yourself on the ground and everyone around thinks you have broken your leg but I know it’s really because your bike helmet is touching your forehead.

And I promise I will always carry you, even when my arms are already filled with a heavy load.











Tidings of Comfort and Joy


Last week Nick’s Great Uncle died.  He was the Grandfather figure in Nick’s life, but he was 97, a widower, and had recently moved into a nursing home so there was an overarching sense of comfort and joy in his peaceful passing. The visitation was last Friday night.  Because babysitters on a weekend in December book out about two years in advance, we decided to take the girls with us. Our kids have occasionally asked questions about death which I’ve always tried to navigate as carefully as possible.  There’s a fine line between explaining to a child that death is a certainty in life and having three kids who think every meal will be their last.  I knew I needed to do a little research on the best way to broach the subject because this time I would be incorporating visual aids. By the way, this was all contrary to Nick’s plan – to simply “show up to the funeral home – they won’t understand what is going on.”  Be on the lookout for his parenting book, Imminent Therapy, coming soon to book stores everywhere. Having been their primary caregiver for the past five years I assured him this was a bad idea.  These kids are very observant.  I can tell you with confidence that they will immediately sniff out anything unusual in a room, […]

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… And To All A Good Night


Dan and I have been friends for almost fifteen years; ten of which when we worked together at an ad agency.   Obviously everything we created was nothing short of spectacular, however, occasionally a project would reek such creative brilliance that it deserved the highest possible compliment, “Wow.  You really brought the whole ass on that one.” We have since parted professional ways; I became Chief Butt Wiper and he started his own agency.  However, a masterpiece was created once again when I asked him to help us shoot and design the 2014 Mayer family Christmas card: Awesome card, Dan.  You brought the whole ass. 2014 has been an incredible year.  I was a part of an actual book that was actually published that 1000s of actual people have read, I had a post go super viral on my blog, had numerous posts published and then go viral on Scary Mommy which subsequently forced me to learn how to shake off shit like this: Also, I finally took the leap on fulfilling my life long dream of learning how to play the banjo. That is no make up, no filter with a whole mess of bed head, by the way. I wanted to take a moment an offer a sincere thanks to all of you who have read, commented, shared and supported my blog this year.  […]

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‘Tis The Season… For Kicking Some Ass


I went black Friday shopping.  On Thanksgiving.  At Wal-Mart.  Go ahead – accuse me of contributing to the erosion of the American institution.  And I’ll tell you that it was a lot easier than you might think to abandon a Thanksgiving dinner table where my 82-year-old Grandma is ripping twelve second farts to shop kidless with my sister while sipping on Crown and Cokes. Also, we usually eat around noon, so by 6pm my aunt’s house makes Chernobyl look like a botanical garden. This marks the second year my sister and I have gone black Friday shopping.  The first year we showed up at Wal-Mart bright eyed and bushy tailed well before the sun came up, ready to fist fight an old woman over whatever the hell we wanted.  The drive was filled with excited chatter about deals and strategies and deadly stampedes.  McCafes in hand, our  jaws dropped as we crested the hill only to find a sparcely populated parking lot. “Oh, that craziness all happened last night.  It’s all over now,”  the bleary eyed Wal-Mart cashier informed us as we sheepishly scanned our full-priced merchandise. “What?  Shopping on Thanksgiving?  Who would do that?” <<<< FAST FORWARD TWO YEARS>>>> “Oh my God… I think that one broke the sound barrier,”  My voice was muffled under the sweater I had pulled up over my mouth […]

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A Whole Mess Of Holiday Wonderful


Every year I make myself the same promise:  Start shopping early so I’m not the asshole sweating it out at Walgreens on Christmas Eve wondering if my secret Santa would prefer windshield wiper fluid or blackhead scrub. The key part of that sentence is “every year”.  Unfortunately I’m not great at learning from my mistakes *pours more tequila in blender* and I’m sure this holiday season you will again find me perusing the pharmacy aisle for stocking stuffers at the 11th hour. But this year, I’m going to help one lucky reader avoid the gift giving time squeeze because I am giving away three great prizes that you can give to that special someone, or keep for yourself (I won’t judge). Prize #1:  Personalized container from Take This Personally. Stacey is an amazing artist and can pretty much paint whatever design you want on a handy personalized storage container.  The winner will receive a small container (like what is pictured here) but she also does cups, platters, popcorn sets, beer steins and just about anything else you can think of.  For real… just imagine how together you’ll look if you have the foresight to PERSONALIZE SOMEONE’S GIFT.  I mean HAVE SOMEONE PERSONALIZE SOMEONE’S GIFT.  This gift is the perfect mix of cute and practical, sort of like your “yoga” pants.  Simple to order – just […]

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The Big Wine Trough In The Sky


Sitting in the carpool lane gives a woman a lot of time to think. Time to think about what she’s going to make for dinner. Time to think if her yoga pants have exceeded their expiration date. Time to think about when the neighbors are going to start complaining because her unkept lawn is starting to encroach onto theirs. And, unfortunately, time to think about more unpleasant things, like what if an airplane fell out of the sky onto her mini van, leaving her husband to raise three girls solo. And while I’m sure my husband would be fine if left to his own devices – our girls would grow to be the cutest little linebackers the St. Louis Rams have ever seen – there are a lot of details I worry about. Like, who’s going to teach them about the pitfalls of lip liner? Or how to make a pair of yoga pants stretch for six days in between washes? And what about the house? Who’s going to remember to change the Air Wicks, or know which patch of weeds to ignore (Hint:  All of them). I shudder as they pile into my mini van, oblivious to the value I bring to their lives. Sadly, I realize that my husband has no idea what I do here all day, let alone appreciates it. Dead […]

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I Went To My High School Reunion (And Survived)


I am going to let you in on a little secret.  Brace yourselves because it’s probably going to come as quite the shock. I haven’t always been this cool.  It’s hard to believe as I’m commandeering a mini van filled with screaming children around town, but there was a point in my teenage years when I could have passed for a middle aged man. For the most part, my life has been uphill from there.  I mean, I hate to brag but I own a Sonicare and once had a date describe my propensity for eating buffet food as “impressive”.  Mailing in my RSVP I was pretty sure a lot of people were going to see me and kick themselves for missing out on this hot action twenty years ago. “Which sounds more enviable – recording artist or gymnast?”  I asked my friend Heidi as we wound down our three-hour road trip and neared the town limits. I had strong armed the one person from high school I keep in touch with into going with me because while I was feeling brave about facing my past, walking in by myself was another whole story. I inhaled and adjusted my Spanx. The first item on our weekend agenda was the Homecoming parade.  Our class had a float and we were going to be on public display […]

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