Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012: Closing Thoughts - Giving children candy in the hours before bed is like hosting a hooch cocktail party at the state prison. @momsnewstage

  1. A holiday that involves a mystifying combination of costuming, baking, crafting, child-supervision/shuttling and gluttony should come with at least one day off.

  1. The people who write articles about avoiding overindulging by making necklaces and model homes out of Halloween candy ought to be publicly flogged.  Along with people who write articles saying that people should pass out apples and baby carrots on Halloween.  Honestly.

  1. It’s yet another opportunity to feel like a mom-fail of the highest order as you look at the kid whose very homemade Halloween costume looks like something that would make Martha Stewart herself weep with joy.

  1. That some brilliant person should station herself at major intersections selling cheap Xanax to parents who will soon be dealing with sheer bedlam when their kids get jacked up on approximately 637 grams of sugar. 

  1. The fact that in a matter of days my kids will have forgotten about their stash, leaving me to spend my nights in a wine and candy induced stupor, and ushering in The Winter of the Monstrous Ass, proves that this holiday is really and truly an instrument of the Devil.    

**My thoughts and prayers are with those recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  I hope that you were able to stay safe, and that life is slowly but surely returning to normal.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Why I love Megabus!

Photo: Mark-Hobbs

She was a native New Yorker with the driving skills of a collie. Her NYS driver license served mainly to get her hands on one Mr. Alco Hall.

When she needed to travel it was public transportation. Or a ride from a friend.

She met the man of her dreams and uprooted herself to Charlotte.   Though terrified of driving, she learned. At 30. She had no choice.  

Local driving became fine, but long distance made her almost soil herself.

Her college bestie in nearby Atlanta asked her to visit.  She decided to take the bus instead of shelling out for a plane.  One look at all the peeps armed with bags of Mickey Ds and KFC and she sprinted to the ticket kiosk for a refund, called her friend, and told her she’d see her another time.  

In her head echoed the words of a friend from the eating club, someone firmly-rooted-in-the-one-percent, who jokingly (?) opined,

"A bus is a bad neighborhood on wheels."

Don't shoot the messenger. . .

She and a friend decided to go to Bloggy Moms 2012 in Cincinnati. Her friend would drive the whole way!  Score!

Then her friend canceled.  &%$& it all!!!

Flights were too spendy.  The train was as fast as being pulled by cats.  As for driving, all she could think about was being mangled in a spectacular incident of vehicular carnage like in a Troy McClure video on The Simpsons. Her friend suggested the Megabus. Said her in-laws took it and loved it!

Could she? She imagined herself trapped in a tin can full of Big Macs and dry heaved a little.

But the bus got great reviews, even from snobs.  It had wi-fi and outlets to charge your devices, and was clean and cheap!  She bought a ticket, and told people incredulously, "Can you believe I'm taking the bus?!!!!!!"

The day arrived.  When her taxi pulled up to the corner of departure, her heart sank. Hordes of people waited. The ride was sure to be like the Middle Passage.

But apparently there were several routes leaving from the same point and only a third of the people were ‘Nati bound.  Like a true 47%er, she hoisted her luggage into the baggage hold, stated her destination, and prayed her luggage didn’t somehow wind up in Phoenix.

She got her own seat.  So far so great!

She read.  She napped. The most unpleasant thing was the gentleman in the seat diagonally ahead who took off his shoes.  Nice feet (as a dancer she studied these things) but really? on the bus? and without shoes/socks to use the toilet (eeeeuuuuw!), the toilet, which in size rivaled a box of pasta.

She only had to go once. Thankfully, she didn't have her kids with her. The outhouse on wheels looked like it could swallow a small child whole. 

Rest stop. Location: West Jabook. While clean and convenient, it was a beef jerky oasis, filled with people who looked like extras from the Dukes of Hazzard.  

Like dyin' and goin' to beef jerky hell...

It turned her stomach.  The beef jerky, not the extras. 

90 minutes to go. She chatted on the phone as quietly as possible even though she was being the kind of selfish blabbermouth she loathed.

Soon the bus entered rush hour traffic, wound its way downtown and then stopped at the corner of 5th and Race.  On time.  As a mom, 6 hours with nothing to do was a blast. As was the conference, which she spent acting like a 19 year old with the fabulous blogger at Full of It. 

She might just take Megabus somewhere again.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life Stopped

If I were going to parody the LMFAO song, "Party Rock Anthem," I'd change the line, "Everyday I'm shufflin'," to "Every day I'm strugglin'."  This week has been tough.

I have a project I'm working on that I'd really like to succeed.

I have advising and curriculum changes at the college where I teach.

My two year old has boycotted bedtime, and she and her brother make the relationship between our two presidential candidates look like kittens snuggling in a basket.

I am spearheading the Halloween party at the kids' school, which at this point is going to look like it was planned by a meth addict.

One of my favorite moms in my neighborhood just moved halfway across the country.  We shared a tearful good-bye like five year olds.

And there's teaching, my weeds growing on it blog, childcare and my minimal self care and housework.

Even though my dance card is full, I feel like life is blah.  A few high notes, some low notes, but mostly, as a good friend said, "wash, rinse, repeat."

Do you hear the violins playing?

Earlier, I told a friend that the only way I could keep on top of it all would be if life would stop for a little while. Stop like a Ferris Wheel - you climb down, wait for it to go around a few times, and then you hop back on. 

Then I got on the Blogging While Mom page, the page of the mom bloggers' group I belong to, and saw that a blogger some of the women knew had lost her daughter suddenly in a car accident.

Life stopped.

I began sobbing instantly.  Since I've had my own children the thought of a mother losing her child has become the thing that pierces my heart the most.  My greatest fear come true.

I sobbed for this mother, who will never again hold her sweet little girl.  Never watch her grow up - graduate, start and progress through a career, get married and start a family of her own.  Not to mention the day-to-day.  The ordinary, the wondrous, the triumphs and the struggles.  I cried for the hole she must have in her heart. 

And of course, sadly, selfishly, I cried for myself.  For punishment I suppose.  For taking myself too seriously, for being consumed by minutiae and for needing the specter of death to give me perspective on inconvenience, slights from acquaintances and strangers, and challenging children. Is death the only slap in the face that works for me?

To Stumbling Toward Perfect, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.  I cannot even begin to know what you must be feeling, and for me, on the outside looking in, there are no words.  I imagine that for you there are millions of words -- too many -- to say what you are feeling, to say to your beautiful little girl, to the universe, and to mothers like me who don't know how blessedly fortunate every pain-in-the ass moment really is.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mom in the Spotlight: Filmmaker, Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a writer, performer, and one of the directors of the new documentary film, Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives, which won the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award and is currently in community previews across the country. Her first film, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox, was released theatrically in 2007 and premiered on The Sundance Channel's The Green.  Her work has also appeared on NPR, and in performance venues throughout NYC.  For five years she produced and performed in Dog & Pony, a live NYC variety show featuring sketch comedy and multi-media performance.  She lives in Los Angeles. 
The feature-length documentary BIRTH STORY: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives tells the story of counterculture heroine Ina May Gaskin and her spirited friends, who began delivering each other’s babies in 1970, on a caravan of hippie school buses, headed to a patch of rural Tennessee land. With Ina May as their leader, the women taught themselves midwifery from the ground up, and, with their families, founded an entirely communal, agricultural society called The Farm. They grew their own food, built their own houses, published their own books, and, as word of their social experiment spread, created a model of care for women and babies that changed a generation’s approach to childbirth.
Forty years ago Ina May led the charge away from isolated hospital birthing rooms, where husbands were not allowed and mandatory forceps deliveries were the norm. Today, as nearly one third of all US babies are born via C-section, she fights to preserve her community’s hard-won knowledge. With incredible access to the midwives’ archival video collection, the film not only captures the unique sisterhood at The Farm Clinic–from its heyday into the present–but shows childbirth the way most people have never seen it–unadorned, unabashed, and awe-inspiring.

How old are your children?
I have a five-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son.

Where were you in your career when your children were born?
I had just finished my first documentary film, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox, when my daughter was born. When she was a week old, I took her to the LA premiere.(

I am a mere mortal mom who struggles to keep writing and to plan her dance classes. How did you navigate the demands of making an award-winning film, including the travel you had to do, with motherhood?
The lucky thing is that we were two moms working together--my directing partner Mary Wigmore and I shared the weight--which I highly recommend to anyone who is struggling to get things done (which is all of us!)--the support of another woman is key to the process I think. We had each other's back and we were able to pick up the slack when one of our children got sick, a babysitter cancelled, a husband had to leave town for work, etc. Not to mention the fact that we had each other for emotional support. When things got crazy, I could count on Mary to make me laugh. There were a few times where we laughed until we cried and a few other times where we cried until we laughed.

The shared experience is so meaningful and has been a big part of making me feel not just connected to the film, but also to Planet Earth…As for the travel, we did the best we could--we planned things around school schedules, slipped out for short bursts of filming and tried to keep the lunches made at home. But it must be said: the house is a mess! (Pick the top three priorities and let the rest go!)

You are a part of the continuum of women bringing awareness to the issue of women reclaiming their birth experience.  You mention outreach in your Fit Pregnancy interview.  What kind out outreach programs are you planning?  
For now we are working with a number of community organizations who are hosting preview screenings in their regions. Hopefully, these activist groups are able to use our film to raise money and awareness for their own work, and at the same time we are able to continue to fund our own distribution plans. We have been working with a terrific writer who is developing educational discussion guides, specifically designed to help people understand that the stories we tell about birth in our families and culture have a great deal to do with the way we experience birth in our own lives. The Farm Midwives told themselves something very different about birth than what you hear in the mainstream culture: they exchanged positive stories, loved their bodies, and developed a birth culture where fear was not the dominant energy.

Ina May at a prenatal visit

With the high incidence of c-sections in the U.S., many women hold natural, unmedicated birth as an ideal.  Even with a healthy baby, they feel a profound sense of disappointment and failure when this perfect birth experience isn't realized.  Can you speak to this a little?   
I agree with you, in some circles women are set up to feel like they have failed if they do not get a perfectly ecstatic birth experience. I would hate to think that our film contributes to that feeling--a great doula I know always says that each baby comes into the world in the way she is meant to, and we can learn from each one of those experiences.

My first birth was unmedicated, for example, but I still had funny feelings about it that I had to deal with--it was a four-hours-of-pushing challenge, and I had to understand that part of it was about digging deep while also surrendering to the help of my doula, and part of it was about being kind to myself.

Each birth is a narrative and we can look to these narratives to learn about ourselves--they are like dreams: What details stand out? What did our intuition say to us? What feelings do we remember having in each moment? How can we be gentle with ourselves, and honor our births, NO MATTER WHAT? And then, on top of that, we have to recognize that as women giving birth, we aren't isolated in our individual experiences--we are part of a system, and that system has a history, and a culture, and a particular belief system. So a birth that doesn't go "as planned," can become great terrain for meaty investigation of all sorts.

Meanwhile, I try to say a few other things to people when they ask about this issue. First, if you are deemed "low-risk," please make sure that you are setting yourself up with an experienced, well-trained caregiver who has a true, deep, and wise understanding of the physiology of uninterrupted birth--often times, but not always, this caregiver will be a midwife, a.k.a an Expert in Normal Birth. You must feel comfortable with this person, and you must feel that she is capable, and also kind. And you must give yourself permission to CHANGE PROVIDERS if its not working (if, of course you are lucky enough to have the health insurance which allows you to do so, which in our country not everyone has...)

Second, you do all the work you need to do emotionally and physically to greet your birth head on, with a clear intention, and then third, you hold the outcome lightly. This last part is important--you must hold the outcome in your hands and heart but you must hold it lightly--with the knowledge that you have done everything that you can to prepare and now the baby will show you what is next. C-sections are marvelous things when they are necessary. 

Many moms constantly feel torn between staying true to themselves and devoting themselves to their children and families.  As artists we have no choice but to stay connected to our passion, but we cannot always avoid the guilt.  Have you experienced this?

Oh boy have I ever. This is the NUMBER ONE topic among every creative mother I know. In the last 24 hours I have heard of three separate job opportunities that three separate friends have turned down because they simply couldn't bear the amount of time they would have to spend away from their children.

The days are spent recalibrating--today not enough time at home, next week not enough time at work--the best relief is hearing other women talk about the dilemma. And focusing on The Middle Path--some mothering, some art, never all or nothing—a Mother Artist is its own, vital part of the world--not only a mother and not only an artist--how to stand tall in that identity and find others like us--that's the challenge!

One solace I take is that both of my kids will grow up in a house with a mother who models being engaged creatively in the outside world. My daughter said to me the other day, "When I grow up I want to be a mommy…and I want to make a movie!" I hope I am around then to babysit for her!

Sara shooting at the Farm

How does being an artist play into your parenting?
I hope that the emotional literacy I have learned from creative work is a major characteristic of my parenting. On my best days I am present, and playful, and I give my kids courage to face a million possibilities.

As your kids are concerned, TV or not TV? 
Some TV! No guilt! (Wild Kratts!)

Must-have mommy quality you wish you could get in an IV drip?
I wish that I had the ability to tolerate two children screaming for bubble gum and bonking each other on the head while the phone rings and the tea kettle boils.

Advice for mom artists with big dreams?
Stick together.

Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore
photo: CJ Hicks

For information on how to organize a community screening or to join tmailing list for DVDs and downloads, please visit   and .

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mom in the Spotlight: Star Blogger, Alicia Steffann

Alicia Steffann is best known for her blog, Naps Happen, which features a massive collection of photos of kids who have fallen asleep in unbelievable places, including over a hundred pictures submitted by fans.

Since starting Naps Happen in 2010, her sleepy escapades have been featured online in Parade, The Huffington Post, NBC Today Moms, Hollywood Life by Bonnie Fuller, Nickmom, and the blogs at Babble, Parentables and Babycenter. She was also voted a Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Mom blogger in both 2011 and 2012. This summer, she launched the new blog Dastardly ‘Do, featuring pictures of crazy baby bedhead. She maintains a lively conversation with fans on Facebook and tweets as @napshappen.

When she’s not blogging, she is teaching college writing and wrangling her two small and soporifically talented boys. She lives in the D.C. area.

Prior to her life as a mom and a blogger, Alicia spent nearly a decade in the advertising industry.

How old are your children?  Boys?  Girls?
I have two boys ages 3 and 5.

Balancing motherhood and work can feel like having a long board on your head with an elephant on one end and a crystal vase on the other.  How did what you’d envisioned about motherhood career-wise square with reality?
When I became a mom, I had already been working full-time for 13 years. Having watched other moms struggle to balance full-time work and child-rearing, I knew I wanted to avoid a full-time job as long as it was feasible for us. 

As a result, I spent four years getting my master's degree while my kids were being born so that I could work part-time teaching college afterwards. That has worked out really well, schedule-wise. The only problem is that I have to do a lot of my behind-the-scenes teaching work while also watching the kids and managing their school and activity schedules...and then I have to gear myself up to go teach at night when all I want to do is put on my pajamas and collapse!

photo: Abbie Redmon
Why did you decide to enter the glittery muck known as the blogosphere?
It was a complete accident. I had this growing Facebook album featuring pictures of my oldest son asleep in crazy places and positions. It got really popular among my friends and they sometimes asked me to friend people just so they could see my album. One day I showed it to Brenna from Suburban Snapshots and she said "How is this not a blog?" So I decided to make the leap to being public and started up a free wordpress blog so that more people could access the pictures. It grew pretty organically from there and I started to get guest nappers submissions. Two years later, the naps just keep coming! It's a privilege for me to share the funny family memories of so many families.

Parents would kill for quality sleep, for themselves and for their kids. Your blog is called Naps Happen.  Let’s talk about sleep, ba-bee.
Ha! Well, I do think that my kids have naturally flexible sleep patterns. My father-in-law tells me my husband was the same as a child. However, their random napping also has to to do with my just giving up on the naptime battles with my oldest son and letting him start to I like to say..."organically." I just began to let him crash out wherever he felt moved to do so and he got much better sleep! 

People are sometimes critical of the fact that I don't impose structured napping on my kids. I assure you, it's not an attempt to be subversive. I just think it's easier this way and my kids enjoy many a peaceful snooze at the time and location of their choice.

The disadvantage is that I can't always plan my day around a set naptime, and once in awhile it goes horribly wrong - like no nap at all or a crash at 6pm. Still, I prefer my method to the stricter routines that work for some parents. It's just our speed. In fact, right this very minute, my youngest is asleep in a sunbeam on the living room carpet. 

Maintaining an even moderately successful blog seems to require being glued to one’s computer or I-thingie at all times.  Please, please share your time management secrets!
Between my teaching job, which requires lots of online interaction between class meetings, and the blogging and the social networking, well...I spend too much time online. I hardly use my smartphone because I'm such an idiot about it! It takes me so long to compose anything and I'm so dogged by auto correct that I gave up long ago. 

Mostly, I think I'm a master of getting small tasks done in whatever time is available. Like I'll do a blog post, then clean the bathroom. Then run a kid to school. Then check my student e-mails...and so on. In between, I have my social networks open all the time. I am pretty sure I don't do enough crafts with my kids. I am shamed by craft blogs. 

What do you do for yourself?
I really consider all the blogging and social networking to be a "me" thing, because what other purpose does it serve? I have moved around a lot in my life and I long ago accepted that most of my friends wouldn't necessarily be people who lived near me. 

Back in 2007, social networking revolutionized by social life just in time to cope with the relative isolation of early motherhood. Thanks to the Internet, I get wonderful support and daily laughs from an incredible range of friends, some dating back to high school, many from college and my ensuing professional life, and now the blogiverse. I love my friends! I need that time to stay sane.

Within the family context, my husband and I just love to cook and do things around our house. We're nesters, really. That makes us happy.

photo: Abbie Redmon

What’s your best “I am standing at the gates of Mommy Hell” story?
Ooooh, if only I didn't feel it necessary to protect the innocent from future digital humiliation! I have some great stories (and by that, I mean disgusting, because I have two boys). It would trouble me to preserve the worst of them for public posterity, unfortunately. 

In general, though, I have to say that I think Mommy Hell is that room full of people who never had a sense of humor and acted like parenthood is a state of constant bliss. I simply cannot relate to those folks. I couldn't make it through the week without ruefully or tearfully laughing about the worst parenting jobs it has foisted upon me. Human waste management. Exhaustion. Lack of privacy in the bathroom. 

Personally, I'll go with lamenting it and laughing about it. I love and adore my children and I take my job very seriously. I think the fact that good parenting is so important to us means we have to try extra hard not to be hard on ourselves. Where's the harm in admitting you had a rough day? It's just being human.

What would blogging pay dirt be for you? 
To be honest, I'm not sure what I want from my blog. Is that wrong to say? I keep doing it because it's funny and it helps me make great friends. Sure, I'd like to make some money off it, but I'm not sure how realistic it is for me to strive for that with all the obligations I already have in my life. With the kids, the teaching job, and the sincere desire to spend my weekends in my pajamas cooking and drinking wine...well...sometimes I think the blog never needs to be more than it is now! 

What’s your advice for newbie bloggers, or for that matter bloggers who might need a pick-me up, ahem, ahem?
 think I would say that you can't go into blogging expecting that, if you just work hard enough, your blog will turn into a career or a large sum of money. There are so many great bloggers out there writing their hearts out, and many of them will never really turn a profit at it. Additionally, media coverage and posts that go viral are often simply a function of kismet. You write a great post and it goes nowhere - and then, one day, an unassuming post gets a thousand page views. But even after a big "event" of that sort, you will often suffer the depression of going back to your previous traffic and feel like you've been forgotten and let down. So blog because you love your topic. Blog because you love the people who blog with you. Don't blog for fame and fortune, because you are more likely to be disappointed than not.

photo: Abbie Redmon

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mom in the Spotlight: Pilates Studio Owner, Sabrina Sandvi Berry

Photo: Cravotta Photography

Sabrina Sandvi Berry began her dance training at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School and the Augusta Ballet in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia.  She later went on to dance professionally with the Augusta Ballet Company.  After that, she attended The Juilliard School and obtained her BFA. She began a long teaching career with the North Carolina Dance Theater School of Dance in 1997 where she taught several levels of ballet and developed the Modern program and syllabus under then school Director, Darleen Callaghan.  In addition, she choreographed for the trainee and apprentice program and began the program's first Composition class.  During this period, Sabrina formed her own company, American Dance Art for which she choreographed and directed until 2003.  Three years ago she made a transition into teaching the work of Joseph Pilates and now owns and runs her own Sandvi Studio in Charlotte, NC. 

For more information on Sabrina and Sandvi Studio visit .

How old are your children?  Boys? Girls?
My son is almost 6, and my daughter is almost 8.

Where were you in your career when your children were born?
I had been teaching a full schedule of ballet and modern classes at North Carolina Dance Theater's School of Dance for 7 years and also directing and choreographing for a small modern dance company called American Dance Art for 4 years.  The majority of my company members were also dance teachers and our class and rehearsal schedule had to be worked around our main income producing jobs, which meant we would often get together during the week from 7 to 10pm.

How did you plan to juxtapose work and motherhood?  How did what you envisioned square with reality?
I have always seen myself as a working mother because I LOVE my work!  I am so lucky to be involved in work that gives me such pleasure and wonderment to do! BUT, the vision of it was alot more glamorous than reality!  

Because of my own childhood experiences and having been a latch-key kid in the seventies and eighties, it was extremely important to me to be very present in my children's lives.  I also subscribed to the whole idea of attachment parenting and was committed to nursing my children for a year at least.  This meant that I was simply not willing to be away longer than absolutely necessary. I was able to pretty easily maintain my teaching schedule which was not an option to give up, but did often find myself in less than lovely little rooms with a lactation pump and a photo of my child!  Not glamorous!  

I also made the very painful, but right-for-me decision, to disband my company.  There was simply no way that I could have maintained our rehearsal schedule and be able to parent the way that was vitally important to my instincts.

Getting a Pilates certification and opening your own studio is a time consuming venture, even more so with young children. How did you make this happen?
With alot of family support from my husband and mother-in-law.

My switchover into becoming a Pilates teacher was very natural and progressed at a rapid pace.  I was able to have some of the apparatus at my home so I was able to practice and study when there were openings in my schedule.  I did all of my training outside of Charlotte to accomodate my teaching schedule at NCDT, meaning I was flying to NYC, Boston and NJ.  This turned out to be an absolute blessing in my discovery of brilliant teachers whom I consider my Pilates gurus.

My husband's mother was a huge help because she would often take the kids for the weekend and they would have a blast at her lakehouse.  Also, my children were in stages where a nap would occur occasionally!  There was one very tough year when I was teaching Pilates in the mornings and then would have to go out again in the afternoons to teach my ballet and modern classes at NCDT. 

I was also very lucky to have had an amazing babysitter who had been with us since my son was six months old.  She was a tremendous comfort becasue my children really loved her like she was family.  Also, the recession had hit my husband's job pretty hard that year (he's a fence contractor) so he was home alot more than he liked then!

What do you see as your unique appeal as a Pilates practitioner?
Most certainly that would be the idea of exploration!  Even as a ballet and modern teacher, I was always eager and inspired to try new movement concepts.  I am about to attend a workshop with Tom Myers about understanding and reading the body through myofascial meridians and have been studying his book Anatomy Trains.  It's completely overwhelming and intimidating, but I am fascinated by how much more there is to learn and experience.  I think my clients also enjoy taking this continual journey with me!

Teaching Pilates was a career change -- at least somewhat-- and a natural development for you, something that is true for many dancers.  What advice do you have for mothers who want to take their careers in a new direction?  
Well, first I believe it's very important to be moving through life with intuition and deep internal instinct as a guide.  And, when those are the guides, leap forward and don't question or second guess yourself.  It's really just like good improvisation - feel the next move.

What activities are your children involved in?
Ha!  This question makes me laugh because before I had my own children, when I taught younger kids, I'd hear that they were taking all sorts of classes, and, I'd say to myself, "I'll NEVER overschedule my kids like that!"  Well, my daughter takes piano, swimming, art, and now a theater class!  My son only takes swimming and tennis now and wants to add the theater class, which we will let him do in the winter.  Never say never!  We live in the country on some acreage so the rest of the time they really are barefoot country kids running wild!

Your mom-persona in five words or less?
I had a hard time on this one, and asked my son what kind of mother I am.  He said, "Happy." So even if I'm not all the time by any means, it does at least sum up what I'm striving for in our lives each day.

Photo: Cravotta Photography

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