Digitally Infused

By Justine Bromley

My great Grandfather, we called him Pake (pronouced: Pack-a), used to tell us stories of what life was like when he was growing up. He was born in 1910; lived to be 100 years old. It always amazed me how much he lived through. Pake would recount when people started using cars more often than horse and wagon. He remembered when machines became more readily used than other means of farming. He even saw the invention of air travel and the internet. My Pake and the older generations watched as technology shaped and formed the world that the rest of us are more familiar with. They had a willingness to learn and adapt with society through these changes, including when the internet was introduced in 1983.

I remember when dial up was introduced; but now internet usage is exponentially greater than when it first started booming when Wi-Fi was born in 1997. Today, global usage is up to 59.5%; 4.66 billion active users worldwide. At the click of a button, almost everything is readily available. No more grocery store line ups or TV commercials taking up your time. One can book a trip instead of using an in-person travel agent; video games could be played right on the computer at home instead of at the arcade down the street; and electronic mail could be sent instead of buying stamps and posting mail at the post office, the way our grandparents did.

With the increase of internet usage, marketing needed to adapt and evolve; just like the older generation. During the Covid-19 lock downs, many people turned to technology to aid in visiting with friends and family (aren’t you glad zoom hang outs are a thing of the past?), work from home, and even do their regular grocery shopping (I love the invention of click-and-collect!). With the increased use of the internet came a much higher demand for companies to use targeted digital marketing. Customizing how marketing reaches potential clients. Somehow I suspect that if this trend had been able to function in the day of my Pake, I’m not sure it would have succeeded in the same way. However, younger generations are so plugged in; speakers, phones, and smart watches are listening all the time; it has become normal and convenient to send signals to these digital marketers who then send the ads and information directly. More and more over the last few years, digital marketing has been the direct link – just a click away – to accessing a company or product instead of just encouraging people to visit the brick and mortar store.

As a consumer, I’ve noticed content-based marketing where ads are starting to appear like another TikTok video, or Instagram story. Direct marketing has become far more widely used. I don’t know about you, but even my friends are selling products directly to consumers, filling Facebook feeds, Instagram posts, Reels and TikTok with catchy songs and cute videos that grab attention. It’s likely in the best interest of digital marketers to approach their consumers in a similar way. Creating content that is more immersive with regular browsing habits so potential customers are not interrupted as frequently with pop-ups or click trap style marketing; already becoming a thing of the past. Unfortunately, the increase in internet usage, will leave some, who are reluctant to conform, behind. As for others, who are willing to adapt, like my Pake; with society evolving, they will find definite benefits for modifying habits to fit these changes. I realized this as I was chatting with a realtor friend, who advertises homes on his social media, was explaining his experience with digital marketing. He posted a teaser, an up and coming listing; not yet on the market. Another realtor, who followed him, had contacted him; seen the property with her clients; and made an offer before the property was even officially listed. Two other, older realtors, who do not have social media accounts, had very disappointed clients when they discovered this property was already conditionally sold before they even had a chance to see it.

Social media is – and will continue to be – an incredible source for digital marketing. I predict this trend only continues to increase in value. Friends of mine and I agreed that there will be more emphasis on interactions with the organization or company. The marketing team might use polls, likes or comments on social media to increase visibility and produce organic traffic to their sites. Likely, the need for the business to become more approachable and genuine and humorous, in the absence of the physical presence will continue to increase over time. Especially coming out of a pandemic, where many interactions with others were at arm’s length; people are craving more meaningful interactions. If a company can provide an experience that feels infused with personality, and is funny, significant and genuine, I have a feeling more people will be interested in making purchases there.

It blows my mind how far the digital world has come, especially how humans consume advertisements and information. Have you ever taken the time to reflect on where things were when you were young? Like how vastly different things were prior to the internet, like my Pake’s childhood? Or maybe you remember using dial up, like I do? Marketing has come such a long way, and I think it will continue growing and trending as internet use continues to increase. But, I think the speed at which it has grown won’t be quite as explosive as the last decade. Marketing will change and morph as people adapt to how they absorb information. Individuals are becoming increasingly more self-aware and in-tune with ways they don’t appreciate being targeted. So, digital marketing companies will need to get really creative and adjust how they approach each group of consumers; tailoring their methods to consumer’s preferences. Becoming more personable and relatable very well could be the quickest way to see success with reaching consumers in a digital world.



Back to School.

My husband, Andrew and I have been talking for a few years about what my plan was as the kids got older. I’ve been a stay at home mom since Middle C was born in 2012. It costs a small fortune to afford child care for more than two kids, and with a kid with medical needs it just didn’t make sense for me to not stay home. But we both acknowledged that when our little Peach started school, it might make sense for me to do something for myself too. Should I just grab a job doing what I had gone to school for right out of High School? Go back into the Food and Beverage Industry? Should I try something different? Should I continue, and amp up selling Beautycounter? Or, the scariest option yet, do i go back to school?
It didn’t take us long to know the answer. Of course the reason going back to school was the scariest is likely because it’s what i wanted most, but was too afraid to do. I had planned my high school courses around taking my Bachelors in Science for Nursing. I just chickened out at the time because I was too embarrassed to have to do any upgrading, and was too afraid to be rejected. So I kept it a secret, didn’t tell anyone and just picked an easier program.

Things got pretty serious pretty quick as our conversations continued, and then I began to share with friends and other members of our families about my hopes and dreams. Until one day, another friend of mine shared that she, too was pursing her dream, and she encouraged me to just go for it! So I did alot of searching, almost changed my program again, but ultimately made the decision to stick to what i’ve been wishing i’d stuck to all those years ago post high school graduation! I’m beginning my journey BACK TO SCHOOL.

Step 1: Figure out which Program is my goal. The real goal.

Step 2: Double check I have all the prerequisites for the program. (Thanks High School Course Counsellor!)

Step 3: Increase my GPA so the program HAS to take me.

Step 4: Register in classes. (Thanks to the local college Course Counsellors who have coached me through this process!)

Step 5: Funding. Oooph.

Right. School costs money. And when I’m in school I need to make sure the kids are cared for. So, I’ve been searching for scholarships and ways to help afford this change for our family. One of the scholarship opportunities is through a company called They are a marketing company based in Hamilton, Ontario and they’ve asked the scholarship candidates to write about how we think digital marketing will change in the 2020s. My next blog will be that essay, and it would mean the world to me if you were able to read, interact, and comment on that blog! I have no idea how the recipient of the scholarship is chosen, but I would love to increase my chances any way I can.

So in the meantime, if you have opinions or ideas for HOW DIGITAL MARKETING WILL CHANGE IN THE 2020S, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Otherwise, stay tuned as I keep you posted on our new adventure! And all the crazy things that happen along the way!!

It’s been awhile.

Well hello again, friends! It’s been years since I’ve typed up a blog post. Life has a way of throwing curve balls and making you adjust your priorities. Today I’ve been taking time to read back through all my posts, to remember everything that happened, and why I started this blog to begin with.
Today is what I call Elouise Day. Today, four years ago, we learned that our sweet baby didn’t have a heartbeat. We learned that my body had been carrying her long passed when her heart had stopped and for my health, it was important that we help her body be born from mine. Today, four years ago, was one of the hardest days of my life. Followed very closely by January 30, 2017, the day she left me.

Taking the time to reflect and revisit these posts, the raw emotion I felt, I wrote, it’s been like a kind of therapy. It’s never easy to go through something, to live with the trauma in the aftermath. But to read again how God has changed me, formed me and allowed SO much growth it’s so amazing to remember, to see and to give Him thanks for again.

Today will always be a hard day for me, but I think I’ll make it a habit to reread my journey. To continue to watch and grow and give thanks for who and where I am today. And to look forward to heaven, when I will be with Jesus and my angel babies forever. When eventually all my kids can be together. What a day that will be! In the presence of our Creator.

The opposite of Iron Man

Lately I’ve been having a lot of health issues. I’ve been back and fourth to my doctor almost every two weeks, we’ve done so many blood tests! So many that I actually started watching them do it, which if you knew me before I couldn’t look and had to breathe so deeply because I was afraid I’d pass out. I’ve come a long way. And we think we’ve figured out what’s going on – which is a relief!

I am basically the opposite of iron man. No, not some evil villain. I’m an iron deficient woman. Like BAD. Normal healthy humans are usually between 50-100 (not sure what the unit of measurement is, I only remembered the numbers). The number depends on your weight, gender and for women is usually lower during and after your menstrual cycle. But usually stays within range even if it’s decreased during that time of month. For me? We found out I’m an 8. That’s like scary low. Which made a lot of sense. Most of my health issues can be tacked back to this iron deficiency. I’m tired. Like exhausted. I wake up tired. Even when I have amazing sleeps. I usually need a nap during the day. I’m irritable – I was so excited to learn this is a very common side effect of iron deficiency because I have started referring to myself as monster mom. So glad this isn’t just the new me but a symptom of a health issue.

Health is tough. I’m so grateful we found out the issue, and if I’m being honest we also know the cause. But solving the cause of this issue seems to be a trickier animal. My doctor has a few suggestions, which I’m hesitant to try because I’m not a huge fan of synthetic hormones, but I’d been willing to go for it if it means not dropping iron so quickly each month. I just wish there was something else we could explore before jumping to birth control.

Anyway, I won’t go into detail because I know some who read my blog likely don’t want or need all the gory details of my monthly cycle. Some would call it oversharing (classic Justine). The thing is, even if it is oversharing, I think we need to talk about some of those things. But not here. Not now. I will say that if you have questions I am more than happy to chat if you’d like to leave a comment or message me. More than happy to talk.

But here, instead of all that, I’d like to chat about other things my iron deficiency has made more difficult. Like I said, I’m tired all the time. But I’ve also been trying to work out because 1) i want to feel strong 2) I’d like to tighten and tone 3) I’ve heard working out sends more endorphins through your system – and I’ve been irritable lately 4) the endorphins also help anxiety. So yeah, it sort of felt like a cure all even though it’s a ton of work. I was excited about working out. But now I’m realizing that working out uses a lot of energy. And some days it’s great – and I love how I feel after but sometimes it’s just too much.

I am learning to be gentle with myself. Not an easy task. I want to do all the things I’m used to being able to do. Last night walking down and back up the stairs had me out of breath. I fell asleep on the couch after supper. And then I cried because I just feel like I’m losing it.

So today I’m not working out – AGAIN. I’m sitting on the couch watching a movie with my kiddos (one of whom has thrown up everyday for 5 days, and the other started puking yesterday). I plan to take it slow, be present and nap when the baby naps. I plan to see this as recovery (5.5 weeks of it) and just assess how much I can do each and be proud of what I DO, not disappointed in what I didn’t do. And for now that’s enough. Someday I’ll get back to working out everyday and getting stronger and more toned. But for now this is okay. And wherever you’re at – if you’re doing what you can, you’re doing enough too. Sometimes we get caught up comparing ourselves, to others, or even to a version of ourselves that was at a different point in life. Stop it.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt

The headache

Hey guys, sorry it’s been so long. Again. Dang!

I want to be open about the issues I deal with, I know that makes people uncomfortable sometimes (especially if you read my period blog post maybe). But society has a tendency to post happiness and best moments on social media and sometimes I think that leaves us feeling even more lonely because not everyone is honest about how hard life is!

So much has been going on but I’m fighting to THRIVE even through the suffering, instead of just surviving. Because suffering, challenges… life, just won’t stop. It keeps going, stuff keeps happening. The good and the bad. And I want to be present for it. All of it. It’s okay if it’s hard, I’ve learned that. Sometimes it’s in the hardest stuff you learn the most about yourself.

Lately I’ve been dealing with migraines and trying to learn why I’m getting them. I’m suffering around 3-4 times per month. A lot of people seem to think a migraine is just a way to say “worst headache ever”, but that’s wrong. Migraines usually don’t present with a headache until it’s almost over. A headache is a minor symptom of a migraine… the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s almost done!

My migraines usually start with vision issues. Shiny, wavy lights or black out spots – like missing pieces of a picture that my brain just doesn’t see. Dangerous things, but zero pain. Then I go numb. My right hand usually starts first, pins and needles or tingles like when your fingers fall asleep. It travels al the way up my arm into my shoulder. Sometimes the other arm gets numb too, sometimes not. Once the numbness reaches my shoulder I usually start to feel it in my lips and cheeks and tongue. I then lose the ability to speak. My tongue won’t form sounds. It’s at this point I usually begin to cry because it’s scary and frustrating. And it’s going to start hurting soon. After the numbness in my face has started that’s usually when I feel my skull start to shrink. My brain is getting crushed and the pain is tortured at this point if I haven’t already started trying to sleep I have to. There’s nothing else for me to do when my hands are numb and I can’t speak and my head is now sending sharp pains like lighting bolts. So I try to nap. Usually I get at least an hour. It’s at this point, after a nap I would say I have a headache. Shifting my neck, looking around or moving too fast causes pain. It’s throbbing but if I move too quick I get the lightning. So I’m slow and gentle. In about an hour from the headache I may start to function normally again but usually I’ll be dizzy for the next day, sometimes even two, following an episode.

The process of a migraine reminds me a lot about the process of growth. It’s always when things are the hardest, the most painful that you’re near the end. Isn’t all of life kind of like that?

You’re more tired because you’re nearly done the workout but if you quit before it’s hard you won’t see results.

Momma in labour and right at transition when baby’s head is almost out it’s the most painful moment. Seconds later baby’s born.

Sometimes it’s just trying again and again. Each time becoming more painful and emotional than the last but eventually it’s worth it.

Sometimes its having the courage to stop trying. To let go. To forgive yourself.

Growth shows up everywhere. It’s always your choice how you’re going to handle it.

That said, I’m tired of dealing with this chronic issue. I’ve been dealing with them for about two years. I was pregnant with Peaches when they started being consistent. I’m glad I can learn about myself, about the process while I go through suffering. But if the suffering could stop that would also be great.

So I have another appointment with my doctor tomorrow. I keep having to tell Anxiety that it’s not a tumour, I’m not dying. She’s not listening and continues to suggest other terrible diagnoses just in case we need to worry some more. So sometimes I just need to see my doctor who can keep telling me it’s just a migraine. So I can fight my anxiety through other health issues. And overcome my fear of not being in control all the time.

Hang in there. I know you’re probably going through something that’s not easy right now too. And don’t do that thing where you compare your trials to someone else’s. Perspective is good to remind ourselves it could be worse, sure. But that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t suck. Just remember it’s what you do with the growth opportunity that will make the difference. Whenever you’re ready. Timing is also up to you.


The Megalodon

Have you seen the movie, The Meg? I have a bit of an obsession with shark movies. I love them, like completely geek out about it. I admit I haven’t seen “Sharknado” or any of those ones that like to stretch it extra far, but movies like the Jaws series (classic, am I right?), The shallows (basically Blake Lively in the water by herself and I was still riveted), 47 meters down, open water, deep blue sea, you get the picture. Last night while I was watching the Meg I realized that everyone has at least one moment (or they will), that pivotal thing that happens that’s huge. Life changing. Their Megalodon.

I know I haven’t blogged my thoughts for a REALLY long time. Its easy to put blogging on the back burner and no matter how often I think, “oh I really should do that” it just doesn’t get put on the top of the priority list. Until now, I guess. But maybe I’m just procrastinating because I need to clean my bathroom. Who knows (Me, I know. that’s exactly what I’m doing). But it was about time I posted an update.

Middle C had her surgery in October. Her right foot was cut open, rewired and closed back up. It’s painful to watch her sometimes. Not because she complains, but because she’s so resilient. She doesn’t complain, she overcomes, she’s powerful and positive. And then behind closed doors, usually when she’s heading to bed we get tears. We see her emotions and frustration with her feet. She prays every night that Jesus would heal her and she wouldn’t need to do anything more – no more surgery, no more braces or casts, no more. My heart breaks. I cry. It’s so hard. So we sit and let the tears flow as we cuddle together. I’m tired of pretending I’m her rock. I’m not. I’m broken. My whole heart hurts. It’s March and she’s still praying desperately to be done. She tries to be sneaky and take her brace off, leave it downstairs hoping I won’t notice. I want so badly for her to get to wear sandals all summer without worrying about which shoes will give her blisters and make her brace uncomfortable later. I want her to have freedom, even for just a little while before the next time. But right now in order to taste that freedom this summer I have to be tough, she has to wear her brace and do her physio stretches as much as we can so in a month she maybe able to have her summer off. Pray for us, plead on her behalf. My heart is so broken watching her journey through this. Being a parent is the hardest thing in the world.

Peaches also had surgery. Twice in the last two months. She was born with a plugged duct in her right eye. So bad it would seal shut and goop up or constantly tear. Little Man calls it her eye boogers and is pretty great about catching them and telling me so we can clear them out. ALL.DAY.LONG. We had been referred to someone locally but when Middle C had her surgery her surgeon suggested we see someone at the Children’s hospital because they maybe able to get Peaches in sooner. He was right. We have had surgery twice before we’ve even had our follow up appointment with the local surgeon (and the follow up would have just been a visit to determine when surgery would be, so we would have still been at least 4 months away from that). The first time her eye cleared up right away, she had almost two weeks without any eye boogers but then it didn’t heal properly and she woke up with her eye sealed closed again. So we called the hospital back – this last time they were more aggressive with the repair, causing more bloody noses and pink tears. When I put her drops in I can see they just sort of sit in her eye, which makes me nervous but I’m hoping it heals nicely this time and we don’t have to go to phase 2. We won’t know until we are done the round of antibiotic drops to see if her eye stays clear. So that could use some prayer too.

So now that you know we’ve had three surgery situations within 5 months of each other I guess I should say the part I haven’t said. I’m really open about my journey. I don’t shy away from honesty or openness, even if it’s private stuff. But I’ve struggled, I have started so many blog posts and never published them on this topic. I think I want to be sensitive to how other people would read what I have to say. I think I am over analyzing the whole thing. I think I feel anxiety, because that’s the issue. I have anxiety. I struggle with pretty severe anxiety constantly. It’s been a problem. It’s infiltrated every single area of my life. And we really noticed it coming to a head shortly after I broke my hand and needed surgery. We didn’t put it together until my husband heard a podcast that made everything click. He had me listen to it and I sobbed my way through while I listened. How common it is, how often it happens and yet how little support is out there or how people are so slow to diagnose. How could it be so common and yet parents who have lost a child, or have kids in hospital a lot aren’t being screened for it? Why isn’t anyone checking in?

I have PTSD.

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is most recognized as a diagnosis for soldiers after they return from war. I was shocked. I’ve never been to war. Why did it manifest after a safe, low stress surgery? Nothing about that was traumatic for me, not that I could identify. Why now?

But PTSD commonly shows up after a repeat event. So you have a situation that’s hugely traumatic, you grieve, you work through it, you keep going. Then something happens that imitates that situation and BAM! that’s when PTSD would show up.

For me my surgery with Elouise was my Megalodon. It changed my life, it completely altered how I think, how I feel. My anxiety was at an all time high as soon as we found out she had died. And as time went on I thought I was okay, I was doing okay. I didn’t notice. And maybe I never would have if I didn’t break my hand. Or maybe my unmanaged anxiety made it trigger after I broke my hand. I honestly don’t know. I don’t know if there’s a way to really trace it back. But I do know that after moving from the hallway into the OR the day of my hand surgery I don’t remember anything. I can’t recall that surgery at all. Not the OR, not the recovery room, not going home, nothing. Because my brain refuses to process what happened because now I associate surgeries as an extremely traumatic event.

I’m getting better with the girls’ surgeries. I did really well especially this last time when Peaches had her second eye surgery. I still get migraines because my brain is trying to shut down and distract me – classic PTSD brain avoiding the situation is what my counsellor said. He said its remarkable that my brain has learned to avoid the stress by providing migraines. We are working through it. It’s complicated. But I have another doctors appointment for my migraines this week. It’s really hard to manage the pain, especially when I’m supposed to be dealing with a kid who just came out of or went into a surgery. I carry Advil and peppermint oil everywhere I go. But once the pain starts I have to ride it out, sometimes its over in an hour, once it took three days. Usually my symptoms start with the “aura” where I see silvery, shiny wavy lines around the peripheral of my vision. If I can take pain medication at that point I can often reduce how long I’m out for. If I don’t catch it soon enough often my eyes will start to black things out – like the first time it happened I thought a man was wearing an eye patch (think pirate) but really my brain just saw one half of his face and he had sunglasses on. It was bizarre – what my eyes see and how my brain translates it is very confusing. My hands and feet usually get tingly and numb. Once my face got numb and my tongue felt so funny, I told Andrew it felt like teeth were growing out of my tongue – I don’t know how else to describe it. So we have more doctors appointments, we see specialists, I’m seeing a counsellor and did an eight week course on managing anxiety (which I had a terrible attitude about when I started but after going through the whole thing I highly recommend it). I’m hoping that my openness and honesty about my journey can help someone else. If I can just impact one person than all of this seems like it means something.

If you think of us, pray for us. We are working on being better friends, pouring into others lives, even though our trials don’t really seem to be letting up. Community is so important when you go through hard times though. No matter how awkward and hard it can be make sure you have someone to talk to, even if it’s a counsellor that you’re paying. Mental health is so important. It really does impact everything. Take care of yourself.

Battle of Verdun

Oh hey! It’s been awhile. Sorry I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, this four kid thing is no joke. Our baby was born in January, I broke my hand in February (Happy Valentines day!), surgery two days following cause I did a stellar job. March we found out the damage to our house from our water dams were so bad we had to move out for up to 8 weeks. We lived in a two bedroom basement suite with 6 people and a dog, plus the 7 people upstairs, their visiting family and the two dogs they had. It was nuts. We moved home in May which was nice but honestly? I missed the community of having another mom within steps – and even if it was a nut house comedy show in both our spaces at least we could commiserate with each other on the front lawn for five seconds before returning to battle.
But back to regular home life and routine. Then June we found out we would need to do more surgery for Middle C. This time on her right foot. Same procedure, including the serial casting (We tried so hard to talk them out of it, but at least we talked them down from 8 weeks to 4). The serial casts start this Friday. I’m so overwhelmed. Still. Again. Who knows when one thing starts and the other stops. Maybe it’s just a circle of overwhelming-ness. I don’t know.

And tomorrow. Well tomorrow is big too. Tomorrow I turn 30. A whole new decade. LEVEL 30. I read this thing that said if we said implied we level up instead of age, it sounds so much cooler and people might actually appreciate getting older. I love it. I’m never aging. Just levelling up.

Anyway, to go along with my birthday I got back on the flow wagon. Womanhood. Crimson flower. Period train. My punishment for not being pregnant. And lucky me – I get to ride this thing out until blessed menopause since we aren’t having anymore kids. Not that I want more kids, but let me tell you the little break from this was pretty sensational. Because here’s the thing: it sucks. It’s not as painful as it was after we had little man. But let me tell you, its overweight. Like for sure the heaviest you’ve ever seen. For the sake of a few reading this who may not want all the details I will spare you… But tell me there’s a way to fix this!! I CANNOT be stuck with this heavy foe forever. NO. I won’t. Someone send help. Is magnesium actually a thing? Answers please. I’d appreciate it.

In other news (for those of you who made it past the gore above), Middle C has been scheduled for her surgery – pray for us October 11… and before, and after.

And school starts Sept 4. How? Where did summer go? And three of our four are in some form of school. Whether it’s regular schooling or preschool – which is just mind boggling to me that they are already that old. How did it happen so fast?

Baby Peach is doing amazing things. Somehow the kid is not even 8 months and already crawling (I admit when she started I pushed her over the first few times… gently). And my kids had told me she had been pulling herself up to stand in her crib, but I hadn’t witnessed it myself until today. This is my baby. Our last. And she is determined to rush babyhood. It’s so amazing to watch and so so sad for my heart at the same time.

Well, sorry it’s been so long and the update was nearly bullet point – with the battle of Verdun planted right in the middle there… Thanks for hanging in with me. Hope you’re all doing well and are prepared for school (have you seen that School start website where you can click two buttons and have all your school shopping done? Saved my butt this year… last year I was for sure the hot mess mom… not that the website has changed that. But right now I’m feeling WAY more on top of it than last year. Don’t ask me how I feel next week though. I plead the fifth).

Air BnB

Hey guys!! So it’s been awhile. I’ve been busy just enjoying the beautiful weather and my children.

We still aren’t home yet, but we have been living in this phenomenal air Bnb the last few weeks and I’m loving it! Made lifelong friends, found the worlds best babysitter (back off, she’s mine!) and found a little piece of country paradise in the middle of the city. Also living every moms dream! House of our own, but support of another mom and friend on the same property. Also, chickens (fresh eggs) and a few dogs (I LOVE dogs!), a couple pigs (hilarious creatures) and a frequent moose momma who visits and occasionally brings her baby! I’ve carried because this feels like how life is supposed to be. Moms need community especially when raising tiny people. As nice as it will be to be home I’m not looking forward to leaving this place. Lucky for me they need a house sitter for July… I signed up.

And it’s an air bnb so if you know anyone who needs a place to stay – I’ll hook you up!! Coolest family, awesome location and who doesn’t want to see a moose?! F33D4C79-8B83-4DEE-92EE-381C43A2187BF10E71CA-36C7-44CF-AE99-0115A9F0B0262CA94472-311F-4B6B-BD01-CA025085D1C4

There’s more…

Our family has been through a lot in the last year and a half. More than most families might deal with in a lifetime.

November 12, 2016 our dog collapsed and had to be put down. He had a blood cancer that made his heart work way too hard and it killed him. We got our dog after we lost our first baby – he held so much hope and love and was exactly what I needed during that horrible time. It was devastating to say goodbye.

November 19, 2016 I found out we were pregnant with Elouise – she passed away January 26, 2017.

December 26, 2017 we brought home a puppy! Gus Gus.

January 30, 2017 I had surgery because my body was holding onto my pregnancy even though my baby had died. They needed to get her out so I wouldn’t get sick. I lost a ton of blood and ended up being very weak and recovery took more than 6 weeks.

May 2017, Mother’s Day we planted our apple tree in memory of Aaron and Elouise – the babies waiting to meet us in heaven.

May 2017, sometime after Mother’s Day, we found out we were pregnant again.

May 30, 2017 Middle C had surgery on her left foot after weeks of serial casting.

July 2017 she got her cast off and we were fitted for a AFO brace (which she still wears at night)

January 10, 2018 Peaches joined our family!

February 14, 2018 I broke my hand. Did I blog about that? It was horrible. Definitely could have been worse, but I broke a metacarpal and needed surgery. A brand new baby, a broken hand…

March 14, 2018 After we started a case file for our house with insurance we found out we needed to move out during the repair process.

March 22, 2018 I was called and asked if we could be out of the house that day. The turn around from the filing of the claim to the start date was insane. Extremely overwhelming!

April 13, 2018. We are still out of the house – I plan to touch base with the contractor on Monday. And Middle C just had another appointment with her foot doc. He wants to do another invasive surgery but this time on her right foot. We have to meet with a panel of doctors again so they can come up with the best plan for her – but Andrew and I don’t want to put her through the serial casting again. It was so hard to watch her struggle and we are already two months behind where we were last year – she had started the serial casting in March – so if we start now she will basically miss her entire summer. I don’t want to – I can’t do that to her. So I’m hoping and praying they let us just do the surgery and that they fit us in as soon as possible.

I’m also praying we get our house back soon. As stressful as it can be to be out of the house, we have a pretty amazing rental and the repairs being done to our house includes some improvements that almost make it worth it. So we are trying to stay positive and have good attitudes. But we desperately need positive thoughts and prayers, support and encouragement. We will need plenty of play dates, possibly help with meals again (AGAIN! Gah!) and sanity savers like coffee, wine and good friends.

It isn’t easy to feel like you’re constantly needing help – so we want to make sure we show our gratitude and appreciation for everyone who has offered to help and been available to us! Thank you. And we are sorry to still be needing help – again. We would love this to end – we would love to be helping instead of needing help. Someday. Hopefully soon.



It’s been quite a year. From last year this time until now we have needed a lot of help. Losing a baby, surgery complications, surgery for Middle C, then having a baby this year and breaking my hand… it’s been eventful. And I’m so grateful to the people who step up and show up and help. It’s surprising sometimes who is there for you. It’s not always the person you’d think. And when these people help I want a tangible way to show how grateful I am.

I want to be someone who is thoughtful and kind. And I also want to be good at giving gifts. Gratitude gifts, yes. But also Christmas, birthday, just because etc. I know the best gifts are the gifts that take thought and intention. What are some of the best gifts you’ve received? What are some gifts you’ve given that you were proud of? Are gift cards less personal?