MLK Day Craft: Hand and Heart Sign

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and we created a Hand and Heart Sign to celebrate this great man.

This MLK Day craft also gave Mila and me the time to sit and talk about the importance of MLK’s mission. We’re always in the lookout to talk about diversity, antiracism, and love.

With my parenting, I make it a point to talk about big issues with Mila. Civil rights for everyone no matter their race, gender, or socioeconomic standing is something I believe Mila should grow up understanding. Making sure I keep the conversation age appropriate is just as important too.

To begin our conversation this year about MLK, I had her watch MLK’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. She loved watching him talk and it gave her a sense of knowing him.

Then she did a MLK coloring page from The Letter Vee. She had a picture of him up while she colored it in.

Also pictured is our MLK artwork from last year. It’s one of my favorite canvases she’s done.

Then, we talked about what word describes MLK’s message and overall feeling. Mila said, “LOVE!” I’m so glad she picked up on that while listening and talking about him.

“If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love.”

MLK

This year, I wanted to combine aspects from last years artwork and the word love. Here’s what we used to create this adorable piece.

  • Heart sign (from the dollar store!)
  • Skin toned paints
  • Yarn
  • Hot glue

With Mila’s help, I painted her hand with the skin toned paint and had her put her hand wherever she wanted to on the sign. We let the paint dry in between colors so it didn’t get muddled.

After it was all dry, I wrote ‘love’ in the middle. Next, I used my hot glue gun to trace the word and around the heart. Carefully, I tapped the yarn on the glue so it’d stick.

For the bow on top, I took different colored yarn and tied it on the top.

I actually love how it turned out. To me it says, we need everyone to work together and create love for humans to move forward.

It’s also one of those crafts that can stay in your house way beyond MLK Day too.

Again, I forgot to take pictures during the making of this piece, but I did video. I promise I’ll start doing better with this! The videos are cute, but I feel like pictures work better on here.

I hope you enjoyed Mila’s creation for MLK Day. I’d totally recommend showing your child some speeches by him or even talking about MLK. There’s so many beautiful quotes that are so meaningful too.

Here’s some other ways Mila and I have talked about MLK and antiracism.


How do you talk to your kids about MLK? Do you do any fun crafts or read specific books? Let me know in the comments.

5 Ways to Decrease Mom Guilt During the Holidays

Christmas is almost here and mom guilt is in full effect. There’s presents to be wrapped, the kids asked for a new toy from Santa, and the cookies haven’t been baked yet. All while you still have to parent, work, and everything else too.

Not thinking you can get everything off your Christmas Bucket List done or making the holiday season as magical as it can be, it makes you feel bad.

In efforts to be nice to myself, I wanted to share some ways to I decrease mom guilt during the holidays with you.

Take a Deep Breath

Whenever I feel myself spiraling into mom guilt, I try to calm myself. Usually, I just need to take a deep breath and realize my thoughts and emotions are getting the best of me.

Believe me, I get it. There’s a ton to do, but if you can calm yourself with a deep breath and taking things one step at a time, it will help. In that moment you can realize what’s really important and what you can handle in the next five minutes, hour, or day.

You are one person and it feels like the world is on your shoulders. Don’t forget to breathe and remember you’re doing your best.

Buy Premade Crafts/Baked Goods

I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. It makes me feel creative and show other parents easy activities to do with your kids.

On the other hand, there are times I have NO idea how everyone’s getting things done… and so beautifully! It can make me feel guilty about where I am with the holidays or coming up with unique crafts or baking all kinds of cookies from scratch.

My big tip… buy premade crafts and baked goods. They don’t even need to be all the way done.

If you walk into Joann Fabrics or any craft store (even the dollar store), there are a ton of different fun Christmas crafts and activities. Mila and I have done quite a few this year and it was just as fun… with just as cute outcomes.

Plus, I am all for buying cake boxes so I don’t have to think about all the ingredients. Or they had premade cut outs that all you had to do was bake and decorate.

This is such a time saver for me while still giving me that feeling of doing jolly holiday activities.

Involve Your Child

Kids are seriously magical. They want to help whenever they can and what they do always turns out so precious… or hilarious.

Mila helps me out with so many different things during the holiday season:

  • Picking out/Making presents
  • Decorating cookies/cupcakes
  • Creating DIY wrapping paper
  • Picking up her toys
  • Practicing being patient
  • Voicing what activities she wants to do or not do

The root of the holidays and making traditions are the kids… so make them the center of it.

Cookies, presents, and all the other home things do not have to be perfect; especially during the holidays. I think it’s more special knowing a child helped with all of these things. It teaches them and helps you out too.

Another part of mom guilt and worry during the holidays is money. Mila and I always try to make gifts and they’re usually the ones most loved.

Involving children in the holiday hustle can really help with mom guilt and making memories too.

Take Care of You

If you’re anything like me, I put myself on the back burner. I constantly try to put others ahead of me and make sure the ones I love have everything they need… even if I don’t.

Whenever I’m in a bad mental place, I feel like my mom guilt is worse. I’m not at my best (or nicest) to Mila. It makes stressful times like the holidays way more intense. Not only do I feel bad on the inside, everyone else can feel it too.

Even when you have a million things to do, make space for you.

I know it’s hard, but you need and deserve it.

Personally, I love wrapping presents. It’s really relaxing to me and I make sure to put one of my favorite movies on with a big cup of peppermint hot chocolate. Honestly, it’s not much, but it gives myself space and takes care of my needs.

I would also suggest trying to get a babysitter so you can do things like that OR a self care day during this time.

The biggest message I’m trying to convey is to not forget about yourself. You are important and need to be taken care of just like everyone else, no matter the time of year.

Live in the Moment

Through the craziness of the holidays and trying to plan everything out, try to live in the moment.

Whenever I get so busy and planned out, I feel myself slip into autopilot or going through the motions. Honestly, the best parts of this past month is the moments not planned.

Mila and I went to the Akron Zoo’s Wild Lights on a whim. It wasn’t planned and we had so much fun. Another time, we were asked to go watch a play of The Grinch a couple hours before it started. Again, it was so much fun.

It’s easy to fall into checking things off your list, b it you can’t forget to live either.

Whenever I feel guilty as Mila watches a show while I’m rushing around, we hop in the car and go look at Christmas decorations and lights. It’s simple, but puts a smile on both of our faces.

Life is way too short to feel guilt and not soak up all these moments.


No matter what you need to do during this holiday season, remember you are doing your best. There’s no need to feel guilty. You are the best mom and parent to your child.

I promise they see your hard work and love you so much for it and for you just being their parent.


What ways do you decrease mom guilt during the holidays? Let us know in the comments.

10 Gifts That Moms Really Want This Year

It’s the season of giving!

Moms do so much for their family and friends. Sometimes it can be hard to think of a gift to give them. Although this says what moms want, it’s more like a wish guide/things that I’ve been happy with in the last year that I wanted to share to give you ideas.

Every mom is as individual as any person in the world. I have a feeling the women in your life will love at least one of these items.

Hair Accessories

One of my favorite ways to switch up my looks are adding hair accessories. There are so many different options and they’re all so cute. I feel like I have a ton of scrunchies, but I’m always looking for more. I’ve been really into clips that can flip my hair all the way up. It changes the way my hair looks and they’re comfortable. My last favorite accessory lately is the other type of clip or barrette. Mila and I can share them and it gets the hair in front out of my face.

Here are some options and shops that I love. Seriously, my go to for my hair accessories.

Stitch Fix Subscription

I share and talk a lot about Mila’s Stitch Fix Subscription, but I have one too!

Honestly, I LOVE all the options my Stitch Fix gives me and my stylist hits what I like every time. I like that these clothes are a mix of trendy and classic styles. Any time I wear one of my fixes, I get so many compliments. It’s been a great way of keeping my wardrobe updated, especially when I’m teaching every day.

If you have a fashionista in your life or someone who needs clothes, a Stitch Fix subscription is a great option. When you use this link, you’ll get $25 off your first fix! Believe me, you’ll love it!

Skincare Products

I use skincare products twice a day, every day. You can imagine that I go through a decent amount of products. It’s always nice when I’m surprised with items that I have to buy a few times a year… especially because I’m going to use it and appreciate it so much.

Most people have their favorite skincare lines, but I listed the two I love to use below.

  • Eclectic Serenity – Local friends, I 100% recommend Kiersten’s products. They make my skin feel so good.
  • Little Seed Farm – I love their products too. Their goat’s milk moisturizer is one of my favorites. It keeps my skin feeling silky and refreshed.

Adore Me VIP Membership

My least favorite thing in the world to buy are bras. I feel like it’s hard to find the right size and trying them on can feel daunting. But all women deserve to feel comfortable in their skin and that starts with good undergarments.

I was gifted a few items from Adore Me and then signed up for the Adore Me VIP Membership. It’s a monthly membership that costs about $40. There’s all kinds of perks with it like a huge discount, free items, and you can skip months too. It sounds too good to be true, but I love the flexibility it gives it’s customers!

The best part about Adore Me is they have sizes and styles for everyone. Before I started shopping I looked up their fit guide that helped me figure out what size would be best for me there. After that, I easily found a ton of different sets that I needed to get! They also have the cutest lounge clothes and pajamas. There’s truly something for everyone at Adore Me. Their membership just is an added bonus.

To help the mom in your life feel their best about their body, an Adore Me VIP Membership will help them feel comfortable picking out the bras and panties that will work best for them and fit them perfectly too.

I promise, they’ll be feeling their best as well.

Organization Tools

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by ‘clean tok’ or any organizational videos on social media… *silently raises hand.*

I’m always in awe of how people share their organizational skills. It’s so satisfying to watch and I feel like their lives have to be less chaotic for it. The last few weeks, I’ve been trying to find good deals to help me out with my home organization too. There’s a ton more, but I linked three at the end of this section.

Personally, I would love to receive any organizational help. It would be a useful gift and in the long run it would start to feel amazing too. If you know any moms who are obsessed with watching these kinds of videos, I bet they’d love these too.

Photo Books

If you would look at my phone, you’d easily see that I have over 10,000 pictures on there. I’m constantly snapping pictures of what’s going on around me. The one thing I wish I would do more of is printing them out.

The first year of Mila’s life, I made a book a month to capture those moments. To this day, I still go back through them AND Mila loves being able to sit down and flip through the books too. They make such amazing keepsakes and I love how they hold up. For 2022, I’m going to make it a goal to start making photo books again.

I’d also love to receive one as a gift. If you’ve went on a trip with a mom in your life, it’d be fun to share those memories with her. Or fill it up with all your favorites. Either way, mom’s love photos and this would be a great gift.

  • Shutterfly – I used to make all my photo books here. They always turn out amazing and they have a free photo book every month if you have their app.
  • Chatbooks – I have not used this service yet, but I have been seeing amazing deals from them. I think it would be awesome to try out!
  • Mootsh – I haven’t used this service either but it prints out pictures each month for you to do as you please with them.

Spa Day

A day full of self care and pampering feels really nice. I love getting facials and my hair done, so any time it’s gifted to me, I feel extra special. All moms would love to have a spa day. There are a ton of local spas that have different specials. It’s a great way to give back to the local economy and you get to pick the best things that your loved one would want.

Another option would be for reiki sessions! It’s a different type of self care and relaxation that would be a great gift for moms. Need a reminder of what reiki is? Here’s my first experience with it.

Time to Themselves

As much as I love being around Mila and the craziness of our life… sometimes it’s just nice to have a break. Obviously, this could be paired up with a spa day, but sometimes alone time at home is all you need. Or maybe a movie out, a date night, or time with their friends. Whatever they need, it’s nice that they have that option.

I think asking for time alone is one of the hardest things for a mom to ask for. At least it is for me. If someone can offer that time or a night away, it could be a nice gift and you get to be around pretty cool kids too.

Candles

I don’t think there will EVER be a time that I’m disappointed about getting a candle for a present.

Not only does it make your house smell really good, they can be so relaxing. Any time I take a bath or just need a quiet minute, lighting a candle makes everything seem a little better.

Another awesome part about candles is being able to use the jars afterwards. I repurpose almost all of my candle jars to make plant propagation glasses or storage containers too. It’s sort of like two gifts in one!

Here are a few of my favorite candles.

Spend Time With Them

The best gift for moms is just spending time with their family. At the end of the day, that’s what makes everything feel special.

I love just being able to have the time to spend with Mila. No matter if that’s a day of play, cuddling, or going somewhere, my time with her is absolutely priceless.

Hopefully when she’s older and wanting to know what to gift me, she can find this and decide to just spend the day with me.

The little moments are the best presents. Promise.


If you’re holiday shopping online this year, try Rakuten. It’s a way to shop online and get cash back at different stores. Honestly, it’s a great way to get a little back. I use it whenever I can. Right now, if you use this link, you can get $40 for just signing up… and it’ll give it back to me too. Who couldn’t use $40 extra dollars during the holiday season?

Anyways…

What do you think of this gift guide? As a mom or woman, what items would you add to your gift list? Let me know in the comments.

Preschool Activity: Farm Activity Box

Another week, another activity box! This week’s activity box theme: FARM!

The last two weeks, Mila and her class have been learning about farms. To extend her learning about it, I thought some farm themed activities while she’s at home and when she’s off on Fridays would be fun!

This theme is also a ton of fun because we live in a rural area where a lot of people have farms and farm animals. We can go to different ones and actually see them. It was also a great time because we were just at our county fair where we saw all of the students’ farm animals and 4H projects that they worked so hard on. It was a way to be active while learning too!

Since we can’t go back to the fair or a barn every day, this activity box was perfect for her learning.

There’s a ton more activities you can do too, this just was easy for her to take to her grandma’s house on her day off.

I hope you love everything that’s inside. Let me know if you have other suggestions.

Books

I’ll never stop saying this: WE LOVE BOOKS!

Books help kids discover and learn about the world around them when they can’t get out and see it. Plus, it helps teach them lessons too.

These books are all ones that we’ve read so many times. I think Mila’s favorite is the farm sound. She’s had it since she’s been really little and it helped her learn different farm animal sounds. She also loves the Peek-a-Who and can even read it to me… more like look at the pictures and remember what it said.

We also love the Usborne “That’s Not My…” series and have almost all the farm animals. Sandra Boynton books are a big hit with Mila and this one always makes her laugh.

Lately, Mila has been obsessed with sheep, so The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg has been a new book that we’ve gotten. It’s a really cute book about sheep’s hair and caring about others. I’m unsure how super farm related it is, but Mila’s obsessed!

The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg by Gemma Merino

Farm Sounds by Usborne

Peek-a-Who? Are You My Mom? by Scholastic

Are You a Cow? by Sandra Boynton

That’s Not My Pig… by Usborne (we use all the ‘That’s Not My’ series with farm animals)

Painting and Play Dough

Painting and play dough are our two go to activities in our house. Mila loves them both and plays with them for a long time.

The farm animal ‘paint with water’ activity book from Melissa and Doug is a huge hit. There’s 20 different animal scenes that are perfect for learning about the farm! I also love that there’s paint on the top of every single page. It came with a brush too! All you need to do is a have a little cup of water and they’re good to go! Mila loves to paint, so I limit how many pages she does at one time!

I always include play dough in Mila’s activity boxes. They help her use her imagination in play and allows her to make shapes with her hands. I thought she might use the different colors to make animals, grass, and maybe just a farm scene. Who knows what she’ll create!

Matching Game and Threading

These two activities are Mila’s favorites!

The first are the threading boards. We got these from Mila’s preschool sale and they’re a blast to work with. It’s helped Mila’s coordination and motor skills. Plus, the scenes are so cute. There are a ton of threading activities that you can find on Amazon as well. This set (not pictured) is so cute and from Melissa and Doug!

Mila’s other FAVORITE game is the ‘grab it’ game. Essentially, you fill the red thing with the scare crow up with chips that have animals in it. When it’s your turn, you grab a chip and see if it matches to your board (the green barn). The first to fill their board up wins.

This game is so educational for us. Not only does it help with matching and animal recognition, it’s taught Mila to take turns and we practice animal sounds too. I found this game at Aldi, but you could make one too. Personally, I would use matching cards with farm animals and then have each player grab them from the deck. Essentially it would be the same thing.

These matching farm animal cards would be great!

Other Farm Fun Activities

Some of the other items that are in her box was her sheep that her great grandmother made, resin letters (of course), and a quick piggy clean up activity.

You could add any stuffed farm animal and multiple ones. At this stage, they really get into pretend play and it’s so cute to see.

As always, I’ll suggest to get a set of resin letters from Beags and Bubs. They’re the best!

The quick piggy clean up activity is a hit and doesn’t take too long to make at all. All you have to do is print out or draw a piggy. Then, put it in a ziplock baggy. When it’s in there, you just use black or brown markers to make the pig ‘dirty.’ Then, instruct your kiddo to clean the pig with a paper towel or sponge. They can also make the piggy dirty by drawing on it too.

I wanted to share two things Mila has done in preschool that I think would be a fun addition to this box as well. They’ve done a TON of other activities, but I thought these were just the cutest!

First is a story that Mila told her teachers and they wrote down. I actually love capturing her stories and recording them. It allows kids to be creative and see the importance of their words. Also, it’ll be so cute and funny to read when she gets older too!

I think she did a pretty good job!

This next activity was something that Mila talked nonstop about.

It’s a cut out of a big with brown paint. So, they got the pig dirty. I’m unsure what type of paint they used, but if I were to do this, I would probably put a drop of dish soap in the paint and mix it. This way it helps with clean up! Plus, what toddler doesn’t like getting dirty!

I hope you loved all these activities and items.


Let me know in the comments how you felt about this activity box! It was a lot of fun putting it together and watching her interact with it.

What activity box would you like to see next?

A Letter to My Son, Who Died, on National Son’s Day.

Dear Jensen,

It’s National Sons Day and parents are posting pictures of their favorite little guys.

When I see everyone’s post, I smile because every child is so special and worthy of being shared. They’re proud of their sons and when it was National Daughter’s Day, they were all proud of their daughters too. Just like I was when I posted Mila’s picture.

On that day, I paused and thought about all the grieving moms and dads whose daughters died. I know that sting of seeing other kids grow.

It helped me prep myself for this day, because I wish I had pictures of you at five.

Instead, I get to post my favorite pictures of you when you were born. It’s my day to share how proud I am of my son, of you. I get to talk about how you made me a mom and how even though you’re not here with me, I get to love you more and more every day.

You and Mila both know that every day in our home is kid’s day. In different ways, you and Mila are the focus of everything I do.

I still get to buy the ‘boy’ things and Mila brings them to your bear. She still talks to you all the time at home. Sometimes she even talks for you, with her deep Jensen voice. It always feels like you’re right there with us and I know you’re there. Just as much as Mila is celebrated, you are too, my sweet boy.

On this Son’s Day and all the future ones, I want you to know that you are never forgotten and that I’m so proud to be your mom.

You were the one to teach me how to love unconditionally and to show me the meaning of life.

I love you and miss you always.

Love,
Your Mom

Guess What I Got For My Birthday?

I’m officially twenty-eight years old! It seems like the years are getting shorter, but way more fuller.

To make my life even crazier and busier than it currently is, I surprised myself with a little gift. Our family has grown… again. This time by four more furry feet.

Yes…we got a puppy!

It was sort of spur of the moment, but the idea of a new dog has been in my head for the last few weeks. I feel like Max has been super lonely with school starting. He loves other dogs too and it’s just been something I’ve considered.

Plus, Mila and I love puppies and dogs too! The more craziness in our house, the better.

So yesterday, I found the perfect little guy for our family. I can’t wait to see how big he grows and how he fits right in with us.

Everyone… meet Toby!

He’s a Bernese Mountain Dog who is twelve weeks old. His paws are massive and he has the prettiest grey eyes. For a puppy, he’s calm and just loves on us.

Mila knows his name is Toby, but calls him ‘tube-y.’ It’s cute and he still runs to her.

Even though puppies are SO much work, he’s the perfect birthday present. I’m so happy with him and just smile when I look his way.

Max is obsessed with him and was like a mother hen helping him out on his first night at home.

Fingers crossed for more sleep tonight though!

Do you have any puppy tips or tricks? I’d love to hear more in the comments!

The Forgotten Kindergartener.

It’s back to school time.

Backpacks are filled up. Kids are excited to meet their new teachers and see their friends. Parents are watching their kids grow and learn. The elementary schools are getting a new group of students: kindergarteners.

They’re giddy and so cute. Moms and dads are snapping pictures with their kids walking into their school, in front of the door, or the school sign. It’s how it’s supposed to be.

Kindergarten teachers see their classroom fill up. Every desk is filled. They start to remember their students’ names and smiling faces. A huge classroom full of kindergarteners exactly where they’re expected, needed, and wanted.

But, I have the forgotten kindergartener.

There wasn’t a school list sent out to me. I didn’t get to prepare him to be away from me all day. No first day of school pictures or the last hug goodbye. There will never be ay more growth or learning or anything.

We don’t get to meet his teacher or have them remember his name or smiling face. He won’t get to run to my car in the pickup line and tell me all about his day.

He won’t wake up the next day and join his new friends for day two, three, or ever.

Because I have the forgotten kindergartener that I’ll always remember.

As much as I’m happy to see all the smiling back to school pictures this year, I’m really sad the one little boy’s pictures I want to see won’t be there. I’ll never get to see his smiling face or hear him talk.

Every day I know this fact, but it’s days like what was supposed to be his first day of kindergarten that it just hits a little harder.

Child loss and the grief that comes along does not just go away with time. You get stronger as a person, but it still is the most pain I’ve ever felt. Especially when you remember all that they should be and what you wanted for them.

Even though I didn’t really know how much I’d feel before Jensen’s first day of school, Mila and I did some positive things in his name.

We actually got the kindergarten supply list. A few days ago, we went out and bought what was on the list to donate a backpack. Mila helped pick out the different supplies and knew we were donating them for Jensen because some other little boy might need those supplies.

I packed them up with care, with Mila’s help and we went on our way to donate the backpack.

As hard and sad as it was, I’m always thankful to do things to honor Jensen and his life. This is definitely one that I hope to be able to do every year for him.

No matter what or how many years it’s been… I’ll always remember my baby boy.

25 Self Care Activities for August.

Hello August!

I’m completely shocked August is here. Summer is flying by, but there’s always time to focus on self care.

As parents, we sometimes forget to take care of our mental and physical health. It’s hard to fit it all in. Here are twenty-five self care activities that you can do all August long.

They can even be fun if you have littles with you too!

1. Take a walk

2. Read a book

3. Do a paint by number

4. Journal

5. Bake a cake

6. Listen to a podcast

7. Binge a new series

8. Go swimming

9. Take a drive

10. Tend plants

11. Visit a market

12. Go kayaking

13. Call a friend

14. Go to lunch

15. Buy your favorite coffee

16. Look at the stars

17. Pick flowers

18. Dance

19. Volunteer

20. Go on a walk

21. Cuddle an animal

22. Put new sheets on your bed

23. Take a phone free day

24. Go fishing

25. Try something new

No matter what you decide to do this month, make a little time just for you.

You are so important.

If you feel selfish for taking you time… your kids will benefit from your self care too! A happy mom or dad leads to happy kids.

You and your happiness matters.

What self care activity do you plan on doing this month? Any that you’d add to the list? Let me know in the comments.

My Response to My Daughter Being an ‘Only Child.’

Grief is an ever-changing entity in my life.

Since losing Jensen, I’ve heard the wildest things in efforts to help me ‘get over’ his loss. Now since Mila is three, it’s evolved.

I’ve not been shy in talking about how things can come off as rude or intruding. Honestly, I don’t think that anyone means to come off that way. They mean to be helpful, but it’s just not.

Anytime anyone mentions me having one child, I always let them know “I have two.”

Here’s what I wish I could say…

“Don’t you want more kids so she’s not an only child?”

I have more kids. He just died.

She’ll never, ever be an only child because one came before her. I’m fact, Jensen will always be her big brother. Not even death can take that away from her, him, or me.

If you have a conversation with Mila, she’ll tell you who her big brother is. She’ll let you know he lives in her heart and she loves him.

When we have guests, she shows his pictures off and wants everyone to hold Jensen bear.

She is definitely NOT an only child.

“It has to be lonely for her not having a brother or sister?”

Just because her brother isn’t physically here, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a relationship with him. She talks to his pictures and bear. When I hold his bear for too long, she gets jealous. She misses him dearly and always wants us to read his book. Her relationship with him is beautiful.

Mila also has an amazing set of kids she’s with all the time. Friends and cousins love her and play with her whenever she asks. She is in dance classes and will be starting preschool too.

She’s not lonely.

“Don’t you want to give her another sibling?”

She has a sibling.

My daughter grieves her brother. She wishes he was here and could come to our house all the time. We talk about him because he’s a part of our family. Our family just looks different than most.

If she were to have another sibling, it wouldn’t take away that she misses Jensen. Just like how no other child could fill his spot for me.

When she talks about missing Jensen, Mila has never asked to have another sibling.

She already has one.

One other thing… don’t ask intrusive questions about private lives. If you were supposed to know what was going on, you would.

It’s rude to assume that everyone can have a child easily. For a lot of people, it’s not.

Some people are healing from abuse.

Some just like their family unit just the way it is.

It’s been a year…

It’s been a year.

One whole year of not feeling your skin on mine. No false promises that have slipped through my ears. A complete year void of you.

The seemingly impossible feat of filling that void seems a lot more possible now. Even when I saw the signs from you and felt that tiny second of longing, I remembered.

I remembered the mental and emotional abuse. The abandonment. Every terrible thing you brought.

But, I remembered something more important — me.

I remembered the long nights of healing. The comfort of family and friends. Everything wonderful I’d never get with you.

The seemingly impossible feat of filling that void was possible because of me. Even when I slipped, I remembered my growth, happiness, and her smile. Oh, I remembered.

One whole year of doing what was right for me. No false promises going through my head. A complete year full of my growth.

It’s been a year.