Saturday, August 30, 2014

Beauty Tips for Busy Moms, Guest Blogger post

In the blogging world it is always good to network with other bloggers, feature each other's posts and help spread the word. It is fun and a great way to learn the ropes. I am new at this and was really looking for my first guest poster to be fun, fresh and relatable. I discovered Nikki at What's Buzzin!

I enlisted her help to come up with some fast ways to look pretty as a mom, even when you have ten minutes! Here are some awesome ideas, thanks Nikki!

Beauty Tips For Moms

Juggling our roles as a mom and a woman is pretty crazy. Taking care of our kids, yes we can do that hands down but can we take care of ourselves while doing that? The answer is ABSOLUTELY! If you have an hour to beautify yourself then hail to you but what if you only have 10 minutes before you had out that door?
Here are some beauty tips that we can do to still look good even though time is a disadvantage:
Messy Buns – You can never go wrong with this style. Not only is it trendy and super easy but it’s quick too! All you need is a hair tie/hair elastic and you’re good to go.
Braids – Side braid, ponytail braid or full braid. Doesn’t matter how you style your braid but this is probably the most known hairstyle ever.
Ponytails – It makes you look less stressed if you have your hair up. Doesn’t matter how high you put your ponytail, it will surely make a statement.
Dry Shampoo – Don’t have the time to take a shower? No worries, dry shampoo can help make your hair smell and look good.
Concealer – This beauty product is essential especially if you didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. Just apply it under your eyes and onto those unwanted stress marks. This will make you appear like you slept for 10 hours when in fact you only had 3!:)
Highlighter – This product is useful for added glow on your face.
Multi Tasking Beauty Products – Use products that serves more than one purpose. Some lipsticks can also be used for cheek stains. You can use tinted moisturizer which also serves as your foundation.
❣ Wear something you are comfortable with BUT not pajamas. What’s the use of the hair and make up if you go out wearing your pj’s. It won’t take you an hour to pick a nice top and probably your favorite jeans.
Always remember that no matter how much time we have in our hands juggling motherhood and being a woman, we need to have time for ourselves too. My mother always told me that how you take care of yourself will reflect on how you take care of your kids.

BIO: I am a mother to a lovely and bright little girl, Cassie. Wife to an amazing husband. I blog about fashion, beauty, lifestyle and of course about parenting.

Maybe this gym clothes, pony tail mom can find time to look fabulous after all..

-- Brit



I see her across the parking lot as I rush into the girl's school.  Somehow she manages to look so put together, even at 7:30 am. Her hair blow dried and blonde, lip gloss on and a cute outfit on her trim figure. Somehow I let this "she" make me feel a little less as I rush into my girl's classes. I am there to volunteer, do some good, share my talents. Ironically, she makes me feel sad.

I see her later that day too. At the grocery store this time.  I am struggling with my purchases and marking off my list. I look up to see her walking by with her perfectly behaved kids and cart full of organic groceries. Dark hair up in a purposely loose bun, cute Gap outfit and pretty smile. On top of her perfection, nothing processed in her cart! She seems to be the perfect, healthy mom I want to be but miss the boat at times. Darn it! My excited attempt at a new recipe falls a little flat as I realize it contains cream cheese and canned soup. She would never make that. 

She seems to be following me everywhere today. Sitting at the doctor's office with my youngest, I look over and see her sitting there. Flowered dress, creamy complexion, nose in a book as her perfect lil baby sleeps in her carrier. Blissful really. I am scrambling to get my disabled child's foot braces on while keeping my other girls entertained with their electronics and a fruit snack. To read a real book would be a dream. She seems to have it all. I think about her as I continue on with my day.

At church she is there. Bringing joy to all who know her, such an amazing person who volunteers for everything, serves in a big position, children know every scripture story, craft whiz, food storage pro. Her dress never has a wrinkle in it and her hair is always curled and her children look and act even more perfect. I long to be like her because she is just so nice and good. I feel I fall short as I watch her. 

She comes in all shapes and sizes. She sneaks in at every place I frequent, event I attend, this image of perfection that I can never be all of is there; waiting for me to find her and make me want to be like her. She lets my insecurities resurface and makes me forget the talents and gifts I do possess. Oh I wish SHE would not follow me everywhere! It's exhausting.

Fast forward. I am in line with my girls at the bank. Today is a good day. All three are happy, we managed to have cute outfits on and everything matches. My oldest is smiling at my youngest, giving her loves she chats happily in her wheelchair. My middle child is holding my hand and reciting the continents she is learning in class. We manage to make it through the line with no issues, I am patient, everyone is happy and I do look pretty put together today. I get what I need, and we make our way out of the teller line. 

Two women who were apparently behind us in line are talking to each other. I only get a small piece of their conversation but what I did hear I will never forget. 

" I don't know how She does it. " 

Looks of admiration are written across their faces and nods of awe are sent in my direction. I feel a warmth in my chest and smile, turning to leave the bank. 

As I push open the glass door to let my little girls through and finagle the wheelchair out the door with one hand I look up at my reflection in the glass. She looks pretty. Pretty good. Pretty happy, pretty put together. I am someone's " she " today. 

Aren't we all?

-- Brit

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cute As a Button

Well after being in the hospital unexpectedly for a week, and then having to adjust to the life changing surgery Brookie has had, it has left me with a huge case of writer's block. I decided I needed to give myself a break and wait until I could write about this experience in what I always try to do, a positive light. So here it goes..

On Tuesday, August 12th  Brookie and I found ourselves in the Phoenix Children's ER. Brooke has always had terrible digestion and reflux issues and I believe that this was the seventh time in two years we had visited the hospital for acute abdominal pain. Poor babe, this time she was even more hysterical and miserable than usual. 

Heart sick and frustrated I watched her go through many tests. The doctors were trying to determine the best way to treat her symptoms and actually help solve the problem, rather than giving her pain medication and sending us home. I was grateful for that. I decided that enough is enough and we needed a solution for my poor baby's pain! After carefully looking over her test results and records, the ER doctor recommended she be admitted and start a full GI flush. If Brookie's bowels became even more impacted it could potentially become dangerous and life threatening if they burst. It was something we just had to do. 

I had no idea what was in store for sweet Brookie. Needless to say, we were admitted to the hospital, an NG tube was placed up her nose and down her throat 
( my heart broke at her sad cries) and continuously for the next 4 DAYS she was given high doses of medication they give to colonoscopy patients. To spare you the disgust I won't go much further on this topic ( be glad ) but it was awful, painful, and just plain miserable. My normally happy girl cried on and off for days and was super uncomfortable. Isn't doing things we must do for our children's own good just so hard?? I wanted to stop the flush a dozen times but we just had to do it. 

Thankfully, we were not alone during this rough hospital stay! Hundreds of texts and Facebook messages sending words of encouragement helped carry me through. I spent everyday all day in the hospital and the days are long and difficult. I sympathize with friends who have been in hospitals for months with their children. As much as I love Phoenix Children's and what an amazing place it is, it is still hard to be inpatient. Especially when you have other children at home. 

Brookie and I sure felt the love though :). We had visitors literally several times a day. I was touched at those who made a special effort to come and see us and lift our spirits and keep us company. Ryan spent all day with us but he had to go home and take care of Jules and Audi. It was really stressful being separated but Brookie was always so happy when Daddy was with us. 

In times of trial you definitely feel who is there for you. Brookie even had a very special blanket given to her by a very special person, Heather, with her trademark " Brookie the Brave" embroidered on it. That made me tear up, I love it so much!!!

Mommy even had some yummy treats and much needed caffeine brought to her more times than she needed to be indulging in , ha! I am so thankful for friends who love us and love our little daughter. It means SO much, truly. I have to share the sweetest thing! One of my Audrey's little besties made a card for Brookie. She drew two little girls, standing beside each other and they represented herself and Brooke. Most wouldn't pause to realize the significance but I did. Kaitlyn doesn't see Brooke's disabilities, she sees the little girl behind the wheelchair and all of the medical equipment. I was so completely touched, it lifted my spirits on a hard day. Brookie is changing all who know her and teaching us true compassion.

Of course Brooke's most favorite visitors were her sisters and Daddy! She loves them so completely and the first smiles in days came when Juliette and Audrey came to visit!

When Brookie was diagnosed I was so worried about how it would affect Juliette and Audrey. Would they feel they missed out, would they feel bitter, would they be embarrassed or afraid of Brooke's disabilities. Well, God sent me very special girls to be big sisters. Truly they are wonderful with Brookie. They love her, they are proud of her and having Brooke as their sibling has made them very special little people. I am just so darn proud of these two. I am so fortunate Heavenly Father knew what He was doing when He sent them first to help me. 

After the misery of the 4 day flush, the light and the end of the tunnel came. She was finished, all clear, time for a break! Oh did Brookie perk up!

A real bath came, first experience with Jello, the Pet therapy program stopped by, things were looking up!

Still, we weren't done here yet. Her GI doctor, Dr. Macomber, came to her room to talk with us. Totally inexpectedly he suggested it was time for Brookie to have a Gtube put in. My heart sank. A Gtube is literally a port surgically placed her her tummy where we attaching tubing onto and her formula, medications, and fluids can be pumped into. Thus far she has best the odds of ever needing one and this news really really hurt. So much of Brookie's life isn't normal, she can't talk, walk, participate in activities her peers can, even eat normally. Now this Gtube would be one more step in making her 
" less normal." Selfishly I was very sad. We already get the stares now that she is in a wheelchair and wears leg braces, this is just one other thing for Brookie to face. It really is hard watching your child live life on the sidelines and miss out on SO much. 

Now some people may think I am dramatic or not accepting something that would ultimately benefit Brookie's life SO much, but it was ok to let myself grieve this day. I was sad.  She had just endured days of pain and now needed surgery. It was a rough day. However, like everything else we face as a special needs family we move forward. Surgery was scheduled for the following day. At least Brookie had an unexpected, unaware day of relief and was back to her happy self. If only she knew what was in store!
The following morning we were taken down to the operating room. Unaware of what was about to occur, Brookie sat up in the middle of her bed as she was wheeled through the hospital. She seriously was cheezing it up, the hospital staff loved it! She was like Miss America. It was pretty cute.

Thankfully the surgery itself is fairly easy. Brookie does well with anesthesia and everything went according to plan. The hardest part came afterwards. Brookie really was in a lot of pain. She could hardly make it between medication doses and was on some pretty heavy meds. The doctors think that doing the back to back flush and Gtube might have been a little much for little Brooke to handle. We stayed several days afterwards to help her recover. 

Thankfully we had amazing friends and family supporting us and visitors to keep us sane. It had been a loooooong week. After being trained on how to use the Gtube, clean the Gtube, administer feedings, work the pump, etc etc over and over we finally after a week in the hospital were going home! On a side note,  I personally think I deserve an honorary CNA license with all of the nursing skills I am learning as Brookie's mom! 

Honestly Brookie sobbed the whole way home, and the first night home was hard. She was in so much pain and I wondered if we made a mistake coming home too soon. But, our big girls were thrilled to have Mommy and Daddy back and their little sis and we needed to be there. After a few nights sleeping in Mommy's bed and lots of snuggles, easy going days and pain medication, Brookie turned a corner. Our happy Brookie the Brave was coming back.

Thankfully we had time all week at home to help her rest, recover and for me to adjust our lives around her feeding schedule. It is really time consuming and for this OCD scheduler mom I have had to up my game on getting things done on time and being where we need to be. Brookie still drinks orally, so we have double the work and it has been a little stressful. Especially with the busy lives we lead! Oh somehow it will all work out. I do thrive under pressure so I am confident that day by day it will get easier. 

Brookie is so glad to be home. She got to see some of her favorite people again.

And we gradually got back to our normal, I guess now new normal! Brookie even went back to preschool today and did great! Whoo hoo! 

She still is not herself, much more quiet, less hungry, still cannot carry herself well. She is chatty but at times very mellow which is not our bubbly happy girl. I hope as her tummy heals, and her muscles are less weak that she will soon get back to being Brookie. The doctors said it can take a while for the soreness to go away so I pray it does soon! I miss her!

Now, enough of this somber post! I hesitated even writing it because my whole mission of this blog is to show that happiness IS possible when raising a special needs child. The doom and gloom of hospital stays and medical issues that come with our lives can be sad, even depressing. But you know what? I decided it is ok to have our days to be sad and letting others see that doesn't take away from our happiness. We are happy but, this is a hard life that we love so deeply despite the hardships. Without the rain we would not appreciate the sunlight. And having Brookie in our family is like having the sun's warmth shining on you constantly. She is such a sweet, tender spirit. That is why it was such a hard week to see her go through. 

Still, trying times have been put in our paths for her whole little life, and I have decided our track record for overcoming them is pretty dang amazing. The quaint phrase " when life gives you lemons make lemonade " may sound trite but it totally applies to how we choose to deal with trials. I am proud of our little family and proud of Brookie. She is such a trooper. I am eternally grateful and ever proud of my beautiful Juliette and Audrey. They win the Best Big Sisters award hands down. 

Isn't it amazing that you can look back at something so awful and heart renching and think " ok, I am alright. We are all right." That is where I am getting to. Almost there. In the meantime I thankfully have good friends lifting my spirits and encouraging me. And a husband and three daughters who teach me everyday what unconditional love is. That my friends, is worth it all. So forgive me for sharing a little sadness tonight, I promise the sun will shine brighter for us tomorrow. Still I can always remember one of my favorite quotes and smile 
"Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful." Amen!

  -- Brit


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Don't Worry Be Happy (oh really...)

Life as a mother is often hectic. We worry. I think as we enter into motherhood, literally the second we hold our pink faced bundle of newborn joy we develop this extra " sense." I like to call it my Mom radar. Somehow at any given time we know our child is near. It is kind of a miracle actually. 

We can be in a huge auditorium and hear our child let out a cry, we stand up, rush out and find said child. A miracle? Maybe.  Apparently,  God decided Mom radar was something to be built into our anatomy that activates during child birth. I am half serious here friends. 

Obviously this declaration is in fun but you mothers out there know exactly what I mean. What would we do without our Mom radar?

 We need it to function, to be able to survive on three hours of sleep, to keep on top of activities, homework, running the home, planning play dates; more importantly helping our kids feel loved and nurturing their self esteem... and the list goes on.

Something I have had to learn being a special needs mom AND a typical mom is to not let the stress and worry that comes with this Mom radar overwhelm me. Because it can. Being a mother is the hardest job we wanted the most. Truly. Sometimes we can get so caught up in making sure everyone is happy, and everything is running perfectly that our own sense of well being starts to wilt. 

Raising children is fulfilling, fun, and amazing but it is also stressful, nerve racking and hard. We worry so much about the little people we are molding into functioning, well adjusted adults. Our Mom radars are on overdrive at times because we sincerely want our children to be happy.

And you know what, we are doing all right. Yes, children have minds of their own, they really do! They actually are going to make good decisions often and they are going to make mistakes too. We have to let them learn, without letting the worry of making their lives run so perfectly consume our own. You know deep down if you are a good mom. 

You try and teach your children good values and morals. You tell them daily you love them, show affection, even spoil (oh just a little) and your kids feel that love. Mothers across America are probably going to bed tonight worrying if they were good enough today, if their kids felt loved and valued, did they listen to them enough, was dinner ok, how would they accomplish their to do list tomorrow; so many sheep being counted as mothers everywhere lose sleep over their children's well being.

I am talking about myself too you know. We all do it. It is encoded in our DNA. We worry. We love. It is in our nature. But does this anxiety affect our happiness? Is there a point where we just have to trust that our parenting is paying off, that our kids are going to turn out how they are going to turn out despite how much we stress? I think at some point we have to do our best, and then just breathe. 

As I was pondering on this post the old mantra 

popped into my mind. Telling a mother, even me the biggest worrier of all, to not worry and be happy is almost laughable. How can I not worry about my kids? That is against my nature, against the laws of Mommyhood and I could "go to jail" if the other mothers knew I was adopting this policy. 

Am I telling you all to never worry about your children? No. Absolutely No. Am I saying after we have done our jobs above and beyond that we do need to relish in the moment of watching our kids live their lives happily then, Yes. 

In this case we deserve it. We work hard as moms. And we love our kids. All we want is their happiness and their success as good people, and it is ok to want that for ourselves too. 

So mothers out there, even special needs mothers like me who are pushed beyond our limits, give yourselves some credit, let your Mom radars relax a bit and be happy that we are doing all right. Ask your kids, I am sure if they knew how much you fretted over their well being they too would say " Hey Mommy...

Don't worry, be happy, cause we sure are."

- Brit

Getting Legit

Brookie the Brave is going online for reals! A new website, linked to this blog coming soon! Brookie is becoming popular, website coming soon at

Follow our adventures and have fun with us! See you soon!
Also follow Team Brookie on Pinterest under mom4jules, Instagram @mom4jules. Thanks friends!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Where do I stand?

As a woman, mother, person starting to near "middle" age (dare I utter these words) it causes me to reflect on where I stand. Where I stand in society, where I stand as a woman, a mother, a friend, a wife; all of these titles of mine define who I am, where I  "stand" in the lives of those I reach.. touch.
It is often sombering to realize that at this point I should be "all grown up now" yet sometimes I look around at my brood, my home, my crazy life and think "am I really in charge of all of this?" 

It may make you chuckle, picturing me frazzled, pouring over my endless to do lists, shuffling my girls into the mini van, chauffering them around to their various activities, school drop off, playdates, doctor's appointments, therapy sessions (for my special needs miss) etc etc that I even worry about being someone worth a special position in the world. Still, I can't help but feel as I get lost in the busy-ness of my life that I don't really know where I stand.

Today the world places less value on motherhood, let alone stay at home motherhood. Women are judged by their looks, how fit they are, what # their clothing tag says, or how put together they look when they head off to run errands for the day. Sometimes I manage to pull it off, early morning workout... check... showered, straightened hair, makeup on, cute outfit with jewelry ... check. Kids looking cute, hair combed... check. School drop off looking ready for the day instead of my pajama-fied tired version... Check. I could check off many things I manage to get done on a daily basis but do they really, truly matter? Interesting theory. 

My 8 year old looked at me yesterday morning and totally changed my outlook with 5 sweet words, " you look pretty today Mommy." Even though I had bags from pulling an all-nighter with her little sister and literally had thrown myself together, I realized where I stand with this girl. Unconditional love is a beautiful thing. 

Where do I stand as a wife? Being married for almost ten years causes me to smile as I look back at all of the crazy times we have had. 3 children, 3 moves, a Bachelor's, Master's, job changes, diagnosis of our daughter's life threatening disease, family trips, milestones, memories, the list goes on. It has been eventful. So, do I look the same as we did when I got married, well not so much she is in there somewhere (ha). Do I still get to be the fun, easy going twenty-something I was when we first were together, occasionally. The enduring part of my marriage is what I am most proud of. That despite life has thrown us some hard balls, it is pretty clear when I think about it, we stand together. 

Friendships are a huge source of positivity, especially for women, mothers. Some of my greatest friends have given me the best advice, been there to laugh with me, even cry. As women it is easy to compare, feel a little less around those that might be so wonderful that they supposedly dull our sparkle. But as I write this, I chide myself, silly silly me. My grandma once told me " to have good friends you need to be one." Isn't that the truth? So, do I stand in a good place with women I value as friends? I think so. As for the insecurities I sometimes have, or the disconnect I feel at times being the "special needs mom" verses the " typical mom" it will be all right. Standing on my own is ok, but standing together with good friends at my side is far better.

I feel as I have written this post I have answered some of my own questions. Life has a way of doing that for you. We all have images of ourselves, positive and negative. It is easy to forget how important our own individual roles are to the little people, spouses, friends, peers that we love. 

I may not be the most put together mother at school pick up, or an accomplished professional, an amazing chef or a natural size 2, but I do have value, we all do. 

Seeing it in my child's eyes as I transfer her from her wheelchair to my arms, I see it. Late at night when a cry comes over the baby monitor and I know my little's epilepsy has begun, I see it. She needs me. Listening to my daughter's piano piece she has practiced for weeks and is excited to show me, just Mommy, I see it. Hearing my middle's jubilant glee as I walk into the school lunch room to eat lunch with her, I see it.  When all of my children light up to see me as they rush in the door from school I see it. Even if I don't deserve such praise or admiration on my grumpier days, it is there. My value to them is real. 

 Recognizing our true value, where we truly stand in our own little "universe" is a gift. A constant struggle and project to work on...
I am thankful for my place in my crazy, a little less glamorous world. To me it is worth standing up for...

  - Brit

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Your voice becomes " their voice"

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I must sound to my kids. Am I ranting off the typical mommy isms to get them to listen ? Am I trying to be more constructive in my " scoldings" if there needs to be reprimanding? Do I leave them feeling better or do I unintentionally hurt their feelings?

As a mother of 3 little girls, there are a whole lot of emotions going on between the four of us and I really really want to make sure I am protecting those little emotional girls from my own faults as their mommy.

Honestly they are wonderful kids, we just have the usual rounds of girly, sisterly dramas that happen in families. It is normal and part if growing up. Yet as their mom I am trying to teach them how to kindly interact with others AND each other. How I sound to them has really been on my mind lately...

Am I a positive voice for good inside of their little minds? I sure hope so. Do I sometimes over react when times are stressful or I am busy and less patient? Oh yes. I think every mom can admit to this at times. But over all I want my girls to remember how much I believe in them, so as they get older and are thrown out into the real world they will " hear " Mom's voice cheering them on. 

I have been reading a great parenting book as I do the elliptical at the gym and it has definitely given me food for thought on this topic. I am only half way through so I am not an " expert " yet but I love the advice the love and logic method teaches. 

Basically we have to let our children have a choice. In life they will be faced with all kinds if situations. If we teach them at a young age that we love them but will allow them to choose, it will only benefit them in their teenage and adult years. Allowing my 7 year old to choose not to follow our house rules and leave her room a mess is her decision, but letting her know calmly the consequence will often promote the wiser choice. 

But Love and Logic teaches parents it is ok to let your child fail. If they decide for themselves not to follow a rule, letting them deal with the consequences or loss of privileges is healthy and beneficial. What a concept!? It has changed how I talk to my girls , and is helping me remember to think more clearly, speak calmly when helping them make good choices. Even when it is time to let them learn from their mistakes. Mommy doesn't always need to rush in and fix everything, I need to let them gain the confidence in themselves to make positive choices. It is really something I feel we all want as mothers, but in the heat of things or in the crazy business of life we forget. The often used phrase "You listen to mommy because I said so" could sheepishly be thrown under the rug if we ( and definitely me) take a second to be calm in those moments. 

I am excited to finish and will share more on this great book, but it has definitely motivated me improve on my mothering.

Compliment compliment compliment! You know you love it when someone praises you, clicks "like" on your Facebook post, or tells you you are good at something or look especially nice today. It is human nature, and I would go as far to say a woman's nature, to thrive from positive praise. It just makes you feel good and believe a little more in yourself. I have been making a mental note everyday to tell each of my girls something they are good at or compliment a choice they made that day. It is something we all should be doing all the time but again with life's busy schedule we often forget that these little people blossom from praise. Especially  when it comes from Mom. I have been purposely embracing this complimenting attitude lately and my girls are responding happily. Our kids WANT to be good and make wise choices when they feel LOVED. Complimenting their strengths (even when they may have been super naughty that day) has a way of building them up. As a mother of daughters I am so fervent to find ways to promote their self esteem. Why? Because they need it, we need it, and believe it or not Mom or Dad's opinion of them always matters most; even during the stubborn teenage years and they won't admit it. ( I know this from personal experience).

Another easy way to be a voice for good in our children's lives is to say " I love you" everyday and why. Duh, you would think saying " I love you" is a no brainer when you love your kids desperately and would do anything for them, but do we always remember? 

When they head out the door to school I want the last words my girls' to hear before they face the day to be " I love you" from me. It is simple, just do it. Even as they get older. Even when they may act embarrassed. As a teenager I can remember my dad always said I love you, he still does when ending conversations, hanging up the phone or saying goodbye. It was reassuring and still makes me feel good. My mom on the other hand was not one to say " I love you" so freely. She is just more private with her feelings. I certainly knew she loved me by her actions but I will say that the times she did say " I love you" out loud are times I remembered and felt especially loved. 

Say I love you everyday, ten times a day if you want. Our kids need to hear it, love to hear it, and will remember you do love them as they grow up and face life's challenges. Those three little words are so powerful. And OF COURSE you love your children!

Unfortunately, The world can be a critical world, morals are on the decline and the push for so called "perfection" is thrown in our faces constantly. I want my girls to be able to handle this world and be a force for good. I pray as I try my best to be a positive voice on their lives, they will grow up believing in themselves and knowing they are special. But I am imperfect, make mistakes and am learning along the way with them. Good thing children are so forgiving... I have A LOT to work on. 

- Brit