Alexandra Elizabeth, you're two!

Oh Danda, that's what we call you. Let me take a moment to explain... Had someone told me we would call you Danda I would have thought they were crazy. When we brought you home Karoline pronounced your name, "Alex-a-danda," and the Danda part stuck. There are variations, sometimes I call you my Dandy girl, Xanda, Danda-lion, Danda girl, Danda love (and on and on)... either way, I love you my little Dandy and I hope you're not embarrassed of this nickname when you are older. If you are, I promise to only use it at home.

This last year you have grown and changed in so many ways. You are turning into a little person and I love your personality. You are kind and sharing (most of the time-you are two after all). You love your family and your friends. You're outgoing and reserved when you need to be. You're willing to try new things, especially if you see Karoline doing them. Watching you love your sister is a treasure that I'm thankful I get to witness.  It gives me insight on the love my brother has for me. You're a creature of habit, yet when we have to change up your routine you respond wonderfully. Our out of the ordinary days go better than I could ever even expect. Thank you for being so versatile and easy going. You have potty trained yourself in the last few weeks and today you made it clear you are ready for panties. This may be the one area in which I am thankful you are eager to be a big girl!

You taught me that teething is a real thing. You tried all new foods and conquered your food allergies. You threw up more than your sister ever did and pooped in the tub more times than I can count. These sort of mishaps have gone from a code red on my scale of disaster to a nuisance since you've given me plenty of practice. Even when you're sick you are easy going.

As you learn to talk you're showing me that you have opinions. You might be a second child, but you are more of a leader than we expected. I love this about you. My hope and prayer is that you and your sister will build each other up as you grow.

My sweet Danda, I must confess that I thought I lost your birth photo on two different occasions. At first I thought the picture was never taken by the nurse, I was truly heartbroken. I think I thought it was your sisters when I first looked at the camera. I admit I had not cleared out that camera card before going to the hospital with you. Then one day I looked at them again and I realized that the blankets on the babies were different. I had your birth photo! I was overjoyed! Then I thought I had put it on the computer and our computer crashed, we lost all of the pictures that had not been backed up. I was distraught thinking I had lost it, again! Thank goodness it was still on the camera card, good thing I'm so bad about clearing that out. Shoot! Make that three times, as I went to attach it below it would not show on the iPhoto reel, thank the Lord it was on the card I just had to find it through another photo viewer. Rest assured, I have just uploaded it to Shutterfly and here, after much delay, it is for you.
28 hours of labor later it was finally time to meet you.

You are two and the day you were born was one of the VERY BEST days of my life. You're becoming one of my best friends and I am so thankful you picked me to be your mom.

I love you, squirt. Happy birthday!


I'm a stay at home mom. My children are always around. Yet, there are times that I feel so lonely. My mom has recently told me that she misses having small children so much that it hurts at times. "It's lonely to no longer have your kids in your home," she tells me. This makes total sense to me. How is it that I have moments of being lonely even while my children are clinging to me?

After confiding in a friend who was honest to me and admitted her loneliness it became a theme of my week. I was curious how now myself and two other women in my life have had this same revelation in the same week? 

I was able to pinpoint where this loneliness was coming from. The idea that my best friend, someone who fit the mold of my missing piece so perfectly that we have become closer, faster than any other friend I've had in the past, may move in the near future. The pending move isn't 100% a go, but the idea is there. My heart breaks at the idea. 

This led me to believe that friendship and having women in my life are pretty important to me and my daily attitude. My husband is indeed my best friend. However, women need other women. Women to go to Target with, to compare recipes with and to talk about nothing and everything with.

I'm going to go out on a limb an say that loneliness isn't an uncommon emotion felt by women. I myself am not one to allow myself to label things, especially if it would be considered a "weakness." I've figured out my problem and the source of the problem, now I needed a solution. 

My solution came in reaching out to other friends. Arranging a get together, even if only one other friend out of the bunch can make it it will still be worth the effort. Next step was to do something for someone else. So, I baked. I baked a batch of organic veggie muffins to share with friends. 

I want to note that I don't think being lonely or admitting you're lonely is a weakness. It would have become a weakness if I would have allowed it to consume me. At weak moments there are times where this happens. I'm thankful for my husband who brings me back to reality. I'm thankful for women in my life who support me and who are there for me when I need them. Even if that means they are there to give muffins to. 

We all have our moments. My goal is to make sure the when those moments arrive I have emergency exits in place. Exits and bubbles, because my children and my household depend on me. My attitude effects them all and sets the tone each and every day. Bowing bubbles with smiling little girls certainly brightens a sub-par day and a little bubble of hope is sometimes all you need.