Monday, January 25, 2010

Etsy Giveaway CONTEST!!!

The day has finally arrived! Hopefully you've already completed STEP ONE, which is to add yourself as a FAN to the blog on Facebook!

(The only exception is that if you don't have a Facebook account, add the site's button to your blog. Make a note of this in your comment if you are an EXCEPTION.)

In order to be one of the seven winners of this giveaway, leave a COMMENT below!

Leave a brief comment that contains the following:
1. Introduce yourself.
2. Tell us what you like about the blog or would like to see improved.
3. Share your proudest or toughest parent moment. I would love to hear about important or defining moments in your experience as a parent!

I hope this gives you a chance to get to know each other, and for me to see who lurks around the blog without posting. :) And.... of course, a chance at one of our lovely prizes!

I will check each entry to make sure you meet both requirements. If you didn't do each step, I'll delete your comment, but you can still try again!

At the end of the week, Friday at 11:59 PM PST, the contest will be OVER. I will post the *7 WINNERS* on Sunday morning by 10AM. 

The winners will be selected randomly, and the first on the list gets first pick of the prizes, and so forth.

And now.... a reminder of the prizes at stake! is a FANTASTIC website that enables artists and crafters to sell their wares directly to the public via the world wide web. If you can imagine it, it's on there! I frequently buy gifts and decorative items on there for a couple of reasons. 

1. I can find beautiful, handcrafted things for a very reasonable price.
2. The selection is mind blowing - I have so much to choose from that I always find the perfect thing.
3. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE supporting independent artists and crafters! Creativity at work, people!!!

So, in light of that, here is the list of things I hand chose for this contest, and the wonderful businesses behind them.


First, Laura Bills at Too Fabulous. She makes lots of beautiful custom jewelry with sayings, verses and my favorite, the initial tokens. So versatile, and unique with the paisley print!

"Sometimes you want a sweet necklace to wear that doesn't scream "I have kids!". This is just that.

Two 5/8" fine silver textured discs hung on an 18" sterling beaded chain, and dressed to go out with a freshwater pearl. Secretly close to your heart is an initial or two, short name, or date."

I am getting a triple tag necklace... one for each of my boys!

For the contest, *one* contestant will recieve a free customized double paisley tag necklace valued at 35.00!!!

Take a look at her artistry:

Next, Terry at Grandpas Rags and Bags has some of the cutest hand made fabric oven mitts, pot holders, bags, clutches and other fabric accents for your home! I have two sets of his potholders. :)

For the contest, he will send *one* lucky winner these lemon-print oven mitts! A 23.00 value!

Check out his shop:

And, they're on Facebook, too.

Violet from Viva la Violette has a masterful handmade stationery studio specializing in personalized stationery sets, invitations and more! They also offer a large selection of wedding stationery as well as bookplates, moleskine notebooks, and an Alice in Wonderland collection. They are providing new take on an old fashioned find - an adorable custom silhouette print.

I'm getting one of each of my boys. :)

Violet will create a custom silhouette portrait of your child for free - a 25.00 value! 

Check out their BRAND NEW website:

From Lauren at Get Thready (who offers Stitch'n for your Kitch'n - hee hee!), an adorable lemon print apron. Her quirky, fun fabric choices make you smile every time you see them. Even if you burned your pot roast, you'd still have a wide grin on your face when you took it out!

She is offering this Lemons into Lemonade Apron free for *one* lucky winner! A 15.00 value (a steal!)

You can find her shop at :

 April Evening creates journals, cards, and treasure boxes using a variety of papers, acrylic, ink, and images from vintage photographs, magazines, and books. Many of the spiral-bound journals include 80# acid-free pages that are perfect for photographs and other memorabilia.

She is offering a one-of-a-kind collage journal titled "Sweet Sisters" with 24 pages of heavy brown acid free paper for *one* lucky winner! A 20.00 value!

You can find her store at :
and her collage artwork at
And her Facebook Fan page:

From Stella and Hodge, some lovely stationery! They have bookplates (a favorite of mine!!!), handmade jewelry, custom silhouettes, personalized stationery, cards & unique prints. So bright, vivid and GORGEOUS!

They'll send another winner a custom initialed pack of 8 note cards! An 18.00 value!

Take a look at their shop at:

And, from me, an 11 x 14 print of my favorite image I've ever created.... "A New Path".

I am a photographer specializing in classic children's, maternity and family portraiture. Contact me for rates - I start at 150.00 for a half hour session, with a CD of all of your digital images to print as you want!

You can find my photography at:

Good luck!!! I am looking forward to hearing what you all have to say!


  1. Stephanie RickertJanuary 25, 2010

    Im Stephanie R. from NY. I love your blog. I have only met you a few times and I think you are a great person. I think your blog is fantastic because you tell it exactly like it is and you allow us to share in your life along with you. You are an excellent writer and I can picture exactly what you are saying. If you do ever write a book, I will totally buy it! A proud mommy moment, there are many but I think the one that totally sticks out is when my daughter was finally potty trained. That took us way longer than it probably should have and I could not be more happy now that she can do it all on her own!

  2. Stephanie - you did a great job! That's exactly what I'm looking for. Thank you!

  3. Hey girlie! I am Becca now in Kingston, ID ;-) I was a single mom for 3 years until very recently. I was blessed to marry my first love (after 17 years of being out of touch!). I'm amazed that he loves me and the kids as if we were always a family. Having said that, my toughest mommy moment... Dating with children is beyond tricky! I found it challenging to balance the kids with my social life as well as protect them from getting attached to any men in my life. I didn't let the kids meet anyone I was dating unless I thought there was a future with him. And even then, I never told my kids I was dating. I always introduced him as a friend and set boundaries with him so that there would be absolutely no affection shown in front of the kids. It is so hard to know when it is right to introduce someone to the kids. I was very very picky and the kids only met 2. I didn't want to teach my kids that men come in and out of my life. It worked and when the guy turned out to be the WRONG guy, they were not disappointed. We have to remember that most all guys are the WRONG guy and protect the kids from disappointment.

    I love the blog! Thanks for sharing real experiences and emotions with us! Juggling all that is on your plate is encouraging to the rest of us ;-)

  4. I am Katie B originally from Post Falls Idaho and now am in North Carolina. A P.E. class at PFHS brought us two future mamas together, and Facebook sealed the deal :) I adore your blog because even if I couldn't relate to your writing it would still be very interesting and pertinent, and INSPIRING!! As you know I was a single mama for 3 years so I appreciate someone working to get rid of stereotypes and bad first impressions. If anyone can do it you sure can!!! One of the proudest mommy moment's I can think of right now is how SERIOUS and incessant Keiran is about when DH is gone, he is the MAN OF THE HOUSE!! He brings this up when we talk about Cader's next deployment. HE TAKES CARE OF MAMA!! Melts my heart everytime. Loves to you girl!

  5. Oooh Erin, look at you go! I have loved seeing you come into your own with this blog! You're rockin' it girl! Although I think I'm going crazy cause I could have sworn it used to say "tell your proudest/toughest mom moment" and now it's asking what to improve? Am I losing my mind??


    I'm Mandi, I live in Minnesota (BRRR) with my husband and 2 boys... and a dog ;) I am a Pediatric Home Care Nurse (although am currently working with an adult ;)) and love it. The overnights are taking some getting used to though. I have a passion for Haiti (that was established LONG before the earthquake), a love for all things crafty, photography, and lattes... and a desire to be a midwife.

    As for the blog? Well I love how organized you've made it! I don't know what I'd have changed, except maybe the blog background (but that's ONLY because I have a bigger monitor and your background doesn't stretch all the way, so I see blue edges on the sides. But that's my deal, not yours)

    I love you, my kindred spirit, my sister from another mister!!!

  6. Hi- :) I believe I added you on facebook--however.. I am a quazi-exception. I don't have facebook at home and only can access it about 3 times a month. I went on Friday at my inlaws and "THINK" I did it right? So..check on that. But I also proudly added you to my blog! :) (and I mean proudly!)

    1. Hi- I'm Kristen. Your favorite friend from Alabama that has relocated to Michigan. :)

    2. I love this blog because it lets me into your heart and allows me to still "walk" along side of you--even from miles away. It gives me a bit of my Erin fill for the day-- and I desperately need those fills!
    3. I remember being initated into the "mom's club" by Allie when she was one year old. After eating spaghetti-o's or some sort of equivalent she violently began to vomit all over the place. And-- the brilliant mother that I am simply stood their holding her...trying to catch it with my hands. (it wasn't until she was done that I what do I do with..this??) hehe Not really the deep thought you were hoping for...but it stuck in my head!! :)

    Allie has given me a few other moments.. .but I'll spare you the details at this point!! :)
    Love you girl!!

  7. Hello sexy momma,

    I'm Leanna and I'm originally from Limey Land, but now I live in GA with the hubs and three boys. What I love most about the blog is when you post pics of the boys. I love seeing them caked with dirt or whatever mess they are in at the moment because it makes me feel like I'm not alone in a world of boys. Proudest parenting moment... hmmm I guess it would be not having lost one of the boys yet. LOL! My favorites would be when all three of us are snuggled in bed blowing on each other's belly. I love it!

    The hardest moments would have to be right now. Dealing with Ryan, trying to get your own child breathing again is something I never want to have to do ever again. Trying to remember that I have amazing people in my life to turn to is hard, too.

    I love ya woman. Keep the blogs coming. You make us all want to be better parents. XxX

  8. Hey Erin, this is Angela H. --we went to highschool together :) It's awesome seeing how things have changed and I feel like I know you better now than I did back then lol. I really enjoy your blog--you tell your stories like a sitcom/ drama, but altogether VERY real and that is just how life really is. I also like that no matter what is going on whether it be good or bad that you always go back to God to either praise or get advise to get you through. I understand the single mama life only because my mom was a single mom with 4 kids-- 3 under the age of 5 at one point-- and she managed to take care of all of us, go through college, and get a good job. You are definitely a very strong woman too :)
    My special mommy moments happen all the time--he is so entertaining whether it's sweet like when we woke up from a nap today and he looks at me, held my hand and said "I love you so much mommy", or funny like a minute ago when he was trying to ride my leg like a pony but was hollaring giddy up camel...made me laugh anyway. I think parenting isn't really defined by one moment, but the hundreds of life changing ones that either make you cry or laugh.

  9. Ashely JonesJanuary 25, 2010

    My name is Ashley and I LOVE the blog but I love the writter of it more! Erin, you are such an inspiration to me as a woman and a mother! You make me want to be a better Christian and a better mother. I love your blog because I feel connected to you even though we are miles apart. God has given you so many wonderful things and I love hearing about them!
    As for my special mommy moment, I think it is just around the corner. I am about to be faced with such a wonderful blessing and a heartbreak. I am so excited to welcome our baby girl into this world in March! She is going to complete our little family and I just cannot wait. But at the same time, I have to say good bye to my other half. My DH is deploying 7 days after she is born!!!! I think this next year I will be tested in many ways and really be able to find out who I am! I think that is going to be a very special mommy moment for me!

  10. tara manubayJanuary 25, 2010

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. I am Traci from Dallas. I love you & your blog. You are such a strong person & great mom. Such an inspiration to me. My toughest time as a parent is the divorce I am going through right now. It's so hard to see what my children are going through. It just breaks my heart. My best parenting times are seeing my children succeed or try their hardest at something. They are so proud of themselves & they just light up. It just melts my heart!

  12. Hi! I'm Tiffany from Hinesville. It's really refreshing to see and hear from anther single mom who is making it all work. My toughest parenting moments are helping my son understand why our family is different now.

  13. Oh Erin, what can I say that these wonderful ladies before me haven't already said about you? I can say that I have watched you the last few years blossom from a "caterpillar" to such a beautiful butterfly who has spread her colorful wings and is flying as free as ever! When I come to read your blogs, I get a glimpse back to when I was a single mother. Remember all the beautiful moments that were wrapped up as hard times. The moments God wanted me to lear and grow from. Though being a single mother was so very hard, it was also the most gratifying experience of my life. I learned that I could do it alone and without the aid of anyone but God. I have to admit, my most prized mommy moment was when I had been dating my now husband, Rick, for about a year. My 10 year old daughter was holding my hand at the fair, and she turned to me and said "Mommy, I wish I was you." I turned to her and was puzzled, she usually pushed me to my limits and kept the nicities for other people! So I asked her "Why?" She simply stated "I wish I was you, so I could marry Rick." It is then I knew that my daughter was happy in our new life and that all was going to be perfect for our family.
    You amaze me every day and Im glad you have grown so much and learned to embrace your inner "you know what"! I you girl!

  14. ok that should totally say I heart you girl (it deleted my heart! LOL)

  15. I'm Cassandra, currently in Fairbanks, Alaska. I have two great kids, Lorelai who is 3 and Griffin who just turned 2 (my son and your twins are close together in age!). I love this blog because it inspires me. I admire you so much! I always complain when my husband leaves for a week or a month or whatever- I never thought I'd have to practically raise these kids by myself, but I need to be thankful for the times that he is home. You remind me that it CAN be done and it can be done WELL. You are doing an amazing job with those boys- you're not just an inspiration to single moms, but an inspiration to moms in general.

  16. Hi! I'm Christi, and I live in Tennessee with my 3 children, ages 8, 4 and 2. I'm a single mother and a full time nursing student. Seems like altogether it comprises at least several full time jobs and there have been more days that end in tears as I wonder how to keep it all together, but I must admit it's generally rewarding to know how much it means to overcome adversity and work hard on working towards a better future.

    What I like about your blog - well, where to start - I think it has personal meaning for me, because I like to read about how another single mother is making her life work. It's inspiring to have a peek into someone's personal journey, to see that the trials, tribulations and triumphs that me and my children experience, are somewhere along the continuum of normalcy. I hate that we are both still single, but reading your blog shows me that I'm not the only woman who deals with the "holy cr*p, she has THREE KIDS -----> !!!!!!" phenomenon that has proven historically for both of us to be common. Although I do feel in my heart, that it's just going to take a very special kind of man for both of our situations, and really.... I think we both deserve that kind of man anyway. Perhaps it's Gods "dating filtering" for single mothers :)

    As for what could be improved on your blog - I really don't think that's possible, it has already evolved into something of an art, and always full of emotion, happy heart feelings, and honesty. I would love to see you continue to blog about each dating experience that you have, because lord knows I don't really have time to date right now and I like to live vicariously through my friends that can, as well as learn "single mommy dating lessons" through your experiences. I would also love to keep reading about how the boys are doing and ways that you manage all the demands of raising them on your own.

    As for my toughest parent moment.. it has definitely been seeing my children grow to love their new 'step-mom' so much. I see that she's wonderful to them, and I try to keep the mentality of "the more people that love my kids, the better....".... but it's never easy to get a play by play of how much they like her, and all the things she does for them and buys for them, etc..etc..etc. On that same token, it wasn't easy to see the ex-husband move on in the first place. Forever takes on a whole new meaning (rather, the lack thereof..), after you've went through divorce.

    Proudest parent moment... Seeing my eldest finally come around after spending his entire first year in school acting out because of the divorce. I was afraid he would never get over it. He still doesn't love it - but he understands (kinda..) and is thriving the best he can in school, and even lets me cry on him when I am coming apart at the seams over what our life used to be, versus what our life comprises now.

    Keep up the good work, it is obvious that your blog brings a new meaning to both motherhood and single motherhood, to many women.

  17. 1. Hello! It's me, Amy VR! :-) I'm currently in Newport News, VA. My husband is about 1/3 of the way through his Iraq deployment. Being an Army wife means being on my own with the kids. A lot. I know it's not the same, but when he is away so much I get an idea of what it is like for all the "real" single mamas out there. I have a lot of respect for you ladies! We have a 7 year old girl and a 10 year old boy.

    2. I love the "look" of this website. Very artsy, yet simple and not pretentious. I think you are a fantastic writer. It's great how you can tell your story in an entertaining way and have it really be applicable to all women, whether they are single moms or not.

    3. One of my proudest mommy moments... I am an avid reader. I thought my proudest moment would be when my kids learned to read. It is certainly high on the list, but even moreso is the fact that I am raising two kids who LOVE to read. They are voracious readers! I love when my son came to me after making a pretty complex connection between characters and themes while reading the last Harry Potter book. It's not just that he was reading it, and enjoying it... it was that he was GETTING it, I mean, REALLY understanding it. Just last week my daughter (who is obsessed with bats!) finished reading the novel "Silverwing." She had tears in her eyes when she came to me one night, completed book in hand, and said, "This was the best book EVER." She's had it under her pillow ever since. Being able to teach and encourage this kind of a passion for reading in kids so young... yep, I'll toot my own horn... I am one proud Mama!

  18. 1. Hey! I'm Liz, a sahm to 3 kiddos (Corbin, 11; Griffin, 9; and Eowyn, 6). My hubby now flies chinooks (used to fly kiowas), and we currently call Savannah, GA, home.

    2. I don't know what I'd change about the blog, but I'll tell ya what I love and appreciate...a no-holds-barred perspective on a really hard life that you neither asked for nor wanted, and you caught hold of my heart because of that. The pictures of the boys don't hurt, either. ;-D You're doing an amazing job, girl, and I'm only blessed to have had the chance to know you, even if only online. =D

    3. Currently, I feel like my toughest moments in parenting occur with my oldest, mainly because he's my first, and by the time the same things happen with the younger two, I already have experience dealing with that particular issue. Right now, the most frustrating thing I'm dealing with is Corbin's attitude and disrespect. We recently decided to homeschool him, and we're still trying to adjust to the difficulties that brings. But in time, I have faith that "this, too, shall pass". =)
    As for my proudest moment, there's NO way I could name just one! I feel like every proud mommy moment swells my heart to almost bursting, and I feel as though I could never feel that way again! =D I love my kiddos! <3

  19. 1. Hi, I'm Rebecca. SAHM to 4 great kids, 2 cats and a wonderful younger husband.

    2.I like seeing a single mom post about her life. I was a single mom of two boys for quite a few years, and know how hard, yet rewarding it can be.
    3. My toughest moments are teaching my kids about hate and ridiculing. It's not something you want to teach, but it's a necessity. The world is alot different then when I was in school and the things my kids come home and tell me are sometimes unbelievable. I teach them to be kind and compassionate, and to not let words hurt (easier said than done).
    One of the proudest moments I've had lately- My oldest is a junior in high school and brought his report card home with straight A's. Who would have thought all those video games could help with getting such good grades? :)

    I am a facebook fan!
    What a lovely giveaway, thanks!

  20. Hi, I am Cee, mother to a toddler. I am about to return to work full-time, which is why I value your posts about meal planning and time management. I also have struggled to find a balance between parenting and making time for me, so I've enjoyed reading about your decision to unplug from social networking or to make time to go to the gym, etc.. As for what I'd enjoy more of -- just posts on how you manage it all! I feel overwhelmed some days with juggling work, trying to find time to work out or write or even shower, and I value any tips from other moms that I can get! None of my friends are at the stage of having children yet, and I feel a little intimidated about joining a local moms group. Anyhow, I have really enjoyed your posts, and am actually using your meal plans for dinner this upcoming week ;)
    Cee at ceevegnashville [at] gmail [dot] com
    (No blog yet!)

  21. Hi, I'm Lisa. I just became a fb fan. One thing I like about your blog is that you list all your meals for the week on the side. I always love to see what other families are eating :-)
    Toughest moment? This summer I gave birth to twins, completely naturally. That wasn't the toughest part. The tough part was afterwards when I was trying to parent my almost 3 year old and establish breast feeding with the twins. Cort was smaller and he wasn't latching on. I fought so hard to get that child breastfeeding. Visits and calls to the lactation consultants and my doula, a supplemental nursing system, and even a day of feeding him extra through a syringe. Sticking it out with him in those early days rather than just relenting and giving him bottles was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I think one day I must have cried 10 times. But now, over 5 months later, I am so, so thankful that I did it and didn't give up :-)

  22. I am a fan on Facebook. I really like your blog because the design is pretty, and your posts are candid and thoughtful. My proudest parenting moment to date is seeing my daughter take her first steps!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

  23. I'm Cindy. I'm married but not a momma yet. I work full time to support my husband who is in his 2nd year of Law School. Some things I really appreciate about this blog: the design isn't distracting. Some blogs play music and are flashy colors, etc. I also like your honesty and candor. p.s. I LOVE those necklaces.

  24. Hi! My name is Shay Lee (I am a fan of your facebook!)

    I would love to see some music on your blog! I love listening to nice music while browsing through people’s blogs!~

    I am not a parent, but the proudest moment in my parents life will probably be when I got into college. I think I too will be proud when my future children leave their nest for the first time :)

    Shay Lee

  25. Facebook fan (my name is Sarah Leary)

    My name is Sarah! I love your blog. I would love to see some sort of Top10 list! I love reading those in blogs (like top 10 favorite makeup, etc.etc.). I'm still in college, but when I become a parent, I think the toughest time will be when I realize that they are their own person, and not me. Finding out that your kid isn't the perfect specimen that you expected is hard (I imagine). Hopefully I will never show myself this part to my kids, because I think I will still be proud of them no matter what!

    sarahleary88 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  26. HI!!!
    I am Nicole and I live in Kentucky and am an Army wife and mommy of a very funny 3 year old boy, Elijah and a VERY VERY independent little 1 year old, Kylie. They are HILARIOUS most of the time and of course they have their moments! At the momment I stay at home with them and have since Elijah was born, although I have a BA in Elementary Education = maybe I use that daily!?! :)
    I LOVE going out with friends, chocolate, girlly movies, HIKING in God's FREAKING AMAZING creation, red wine and I have recently taken my first steps into becoming a "foodie" ;) :)

    I absuoltly love this blog because I personally know Erin. I have known her for many years and have seen YOU grow and change and roll with the crazy twists and tunrs of this life. Inspiration, encouragement, wisdom and love pour from this blog each time I read it - THANK YOU!

    Proudest parenting moment - WE ARE 1/2 WAY INTO OUR FIRST DEPLOYMENT WITHOUT DADDY! I will have to say making it this far sits at the top of this list!

    Toughest moment - coming to the realization (and freedom) that I am not and will never be a perfect mommy. I WILL make mistakes, I WILL "mess my kids up" to some extent and I will will AT TIMES not know what to do and will have to ask for help. What freedom to place my babies in God's hands because BOY are mine unsteady - but it was my toughest parenting moment to actually give them to God - toughest moment BUT the moment I started to actually GROW, LOVE and NURTURE my babies like never before....:)

  27. Hi,
    I'm Tina and a mother of 3. Boy am I inspired by your blog. Just to know that you still continue on and share your passion to the world. As a parent I think that just being a mom is the most chanllenging, yet rewarding job out there! I gotta say, my kids keeps me on my toes. W/out them, I'd prob be a little lost.

  28. First, I became a fan on facebook, assuming I did it right!
    I'm Jennifer. I'm a busy wife and mom of two teenage sons, more on that later, and a Guide Dog Puppy trainer.
    I just found your blog. I liked the story of who you are and like getting ideas on what to have for dinner! It might be nice to know how to contact you. I sometimes mess up on comments and this comes in handy in letting you know to delete something.
    My toughest moments of being a parent are taking place now because the kids are teenagers. Here's a recent experience...coming back to the pew from receiving communion during the Holy Family Mass (where we heard all about being loving and kind and understanding to one another and letting those relationships grow...) my oldest (18)accidently kicked his 16 year old brother's shoe. Fun! said the 18 year old to himself, and did it again, and again. Of course, it made a loud noise and irritated his brother. Cool! So...time to turn into our pew and the kickee (16) moved out of the way so the kicker (18) could go into the pew first. Of course, he tried to trip his brother in the process. Rats! He didn't go down. That's okay, I'll push him until he is flat on his face on the pew. Mission accomplished. During Holy Family Mass???! Oh, it was definitely a defining moment, one more for the tally list!

  29. You can contact me via the FB fan page, Jennifer! Just shoot me a message.

    Great stories, everyone! I am so inspired by all of your comments!!! :)

  30. I'm a fan :) My name is Colleen and I am the mother of two wonderful teenage boys. With two boys, tough moments are common. Thankfully, proud moments are just as common!

    Most recently, my toughest moment was letting my new teen driver take the wheel of the car. I'd thought about this day all his life and I used to think I would worry about his safety. Now that day is here and I don't worry about his safety, I worry about the decisions he'll make.

    It's so much easier when they're little :)

  31. I just became a fan! I surfed my way in here through an etsy giveaway blog. I love your background image. Your blog looks great! I am a SAHM of two girls (2 and 3 months).
    So far, my toughest parenting moment is getting adjusted to having two babies instead of one. My husband lost his job this fall and his new job keeps him away from home for 12+ hours a day. He wasn't able to have much time off when our new baby came so I've been on my own a lot. It has been a hard adjustment, but I'm hoping we're over the hump. There are moments when I'm trying to get everyone out the door and they are both crying that I think I'm going to start crying myself. I know later I will miss these times...

  32. Well my name is Rose and I live in Portland. I am not married, nor do I have any children...yet. I hope to have them one day, and I can't wait. I just joined your fb so I don't know the blog well. But I am going to have fun learning about you. I love that you get to the point, not beating around the bush. Improvement? Nothing really, I like it a lot. As I said no kids yet. But I babysit and its the greatest feeling when they learn how to hug and kiss. I love going to see them and them giving me a kiss right away. ambrerose(at)

  33. Hi! :0) I'm Ginny and live in Houston, TX!

    First, I want to say that not only am I a fan of your blog on Facebook, but I am a fan of you in real life! You are an amazingly strong woman Erin, and I continuously look up to you!

    I love your blog because it gives me a glimpse into what your life is like now. You are so artistically gifted - both in your writing and in your photography. Reading your daily dilemmas and accomplishments is so inspiring!

    I would say the toughest thing about parenting for me happens almost daily. I always prided myself at being good at everything I did...and top of the pack. I'm a hard worker and always strive to do the best. However, as a parent, I don't feel as if I have gotten there. I am constantly humbled by realizing I could have handled a situation in a different way that may have been better. I figure this will continue for the rest of my Logan grows and changes, I will have to grow and change also.

    My proudest parenting moments come every time I see Logan's eyes sparkle, a huge grin come across his face, and he lets out a huge belly laugh. Knowing that he's happy and healthy give me a sense of relief.

    Erin - watching you grow into your wonderful life is so uplifting! I'm always excited to hear what new thoughts you have and what new adventures have come your way!

  34. Hi...Debbie from missouri

    I love your blog for its honesty and truth. I became a divorced mom also and eventually married again and have a child considerably younger than his older siblings.

    My most defining moment as a parent was realizing my ex was using the children as weapons to hurt me. I eventually made the decision to let them live with a "disneyland" dad. Their relationship with their father certainly changed after they moved there.

    Since I was remarried by that time there was resentment when years later my current husband and I chose to have a child. The older kids feel is favored and gets everything he wants. My husband is a good provider and we are able to do more than I had done as a single parent or in the early years of establishing our farming operation.

    The one thing I've learned as a parent (and a teacher) is I don't want to be their best friend. I want to be an adult. I will take their feelings into account, but I will make adult decisions, even when they don't me popular all the time.

  35. Hi, I'm Tina. I live in a small town in Alaska and I'm 7 months pregnant with our first child.
    I like the weekly menu you post, and your photographs. The honest, regular details of raising children.
    I'm two months away from bearing my first child, so I don't really have any tough parenting moments to share just yet. Though I will say that being pregnant has brought up a whole new dynamic between my mother and myself that is difficult and frustrating beyond the norm. Does that count?

  36. Hi, I'm Leslie in Idaho Falls
    I just started reading your blog, a friend introduced me to it on facebook. I love how you know how all of us can feel when we are trying to hold our own little world in one piece. One of my proudest moments as a mom just happened this week. My little man is 6 and he came home from school and announced that he held the door open for the principle when she was walking into the door. I'm realizing that I'm raising a gentleman :)

  37. I'm Audrey, and live on a farm in Southern Manitoba Canada. My husband and I have been married for 21 years and have two boys ages 18 & almost 20. We had the oldest 2 weeks before my 28th birthday. I have a niece and nephew that are older than my children and watching my sister raise them (or not) showed me what I needed to do and not do with my children. Of course we still made mistakes, but they have turned out to be really great young men.
    Our youngest thought that he was a tough guy when he hit grade 8, caused all sorts of trouble at school. It took us a while to convince him that he was a great person who didn't need to be an ass to get attention, and that his behavior was getting him attention at home that he really didn't want :)
    We ended up taking everything away - TV, radio, cd player, computer etc. He did all the chores, dishes, vacuuming and helped his dad in the hog barn after school every day. I had a copy of every text book he needed to finish grade 8 at home and sat with him every day to make sure it got done.
    For grade 9 we convinced the powers that be, that he should start the vocational program a year early, so that he would have more time away from some of the influences at school. We had to jump through a lot of hoops, but they finally agreed. The school didn't think that it would work, and our son would just end up quitting or failing. Well, he has finished high school 5 months early, with 9 more credits then he needs to graduate.
    Sometimes when it looks like everything isn't working and that all you say goes in one ear and out the other, something finally "clicks" and everything works out in the end.
    audreyscountrycrafts at gmail dot com

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