No Child Hungry


On Saturday we were asked to join 500 other volunteers to come together and take a step towards ending childhood hunger. No Child Hungry came and hosted a meal packing event to pack meals for children and families in Haiti.

The experience was sobering

To stop and think for one second - LIKE REALLY THINK - that children are DYING. Unacceptable!

To hear a pastor tell us that he was a first hand witness to 3 young children starving to death - LITERALLY. Then to listen to the incredible Jim Scott - leader of our local Make-A-Wish Foundation Chapter (that's raised over $1 million in the past 12 years!!!) and founder of ENABLE Haiti, a not for profit charity that has been bringing and supplying relief to a small community in Haiti when all other relief ended. Jim and a team of very dedicated people are trying desperately to create a sustainable living plan that allows this community to build itself back up again. The living conditions are dire. Children are starving. They have nothing. Yet Jim always reports that they are the happiest, loveliest and most generous people that he has ever met.

I am truly honoured to call this man a friend. He and his family are wonderful people who don't ever just talk about making a difference - they ACT. In turn, they give us a chance to ACT. I would walk to the ends of the earth if Jim asked me to. 

The goal was 120,000 meals by 3pm. There were 500 people (give or take).


My mother-in-law and father-in-law were part of our packing team. Philanthropy runs in the family. 

This was the view of looking one way from where I stood...

and the other way. There were high school and university teams, firefighters, kids, moms, dads, so many people took a day out to make a difference. Incredible!

As I was packing this life sustaining little bag I couldn't help but notice the ingredients. We are fortunate enough to live in a society that we can make choices for our children and families where our diet is concerned. How many people would see the "soy-protein" and decide not to give it to their children, cause "there's too many hormones in it?" I mean - ME - I am one of them. I felt ridiculous. I also felt thankful. Thankful that I have the choice to feed my children fresh fruits and veggies. Thankful that I can buy and have access to good quality vitamins and supplements with very little filler. Thankful it's a choice whether or not to give my kids gluten free or wheat products. Mostly, I am thankful that it is just that A CHOICE. Let's face it - if our children were starving to death all the free range organic products really loose their lustre. Trust me I'm not knocking it, I'm just putting it in perspective (even if it is only for my own sake). 

The day was huge success. We finished packing 120,000 meals in less than 2 hours. We were home by 11, feeling the weight of others struggles in my heart. I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to join us in these events. If we raise awareness in our kids, they may just one day appreciate the choice they make when they decide to not finish a meal, or run the water too long when they brush their teeth, or play outside with a bucket of water and water balloons. Of course I want them to do those super fun things that our kids are lucky enough to do, but I am also asking that they appreciate and respect the luxury and never take it for granted. 

And to quote Lennon and Maisy from the Nashville soundtrack (I'm obsessed with them - The Stella sisters - google it)...

"At the ennnnnnd of the dayyyyy, Loooooord I prayyyy, I haaaave a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife thats good"

Skating Party 2015

IMG_2911 s2 I have ZERO time - LIKE ZERO!!! I have 2 really big presentations coming up. I'm very excited and also trying to get prepared. More on both soon enough.

The Seguin Financial Group skating party happened a couple of weekends ago and I have to share the pics at least. This is seriously one of my favourite days. I get to meet some new clients and visit with some old ones that have come out every year. We so enjoy having everyone out with their families or by themselves for some action on the rink. It's wonderful to see everyone spend some time together laughing, eating and enjoying each others company. Love to see those who are just learning be brave and strap on a pair of skates. It's not for everybody (





We welcomed some new faces this year.






Andrew you handsome devil you... I heart you!!!!





Ohhhhhh NOLA!!! There's always gonna be a hater. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate - I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, SHAKE IT OFF - SHAKE IT OFF!!!




Hope to see you all again next year and then some.

Happy Days

Celebrating 3 Years

Here we go. The sappy, I had 5 minutes to think about my baby getting bigger post is up. Brace yourself.

These pics were taken at the exact moment that Hazel arrived in the world. Exactly 3 - 9:55am





She's 3 guys...


She tries so hard to make 3 with her fingers...



The other night I was putting Hazel to bed and it was the typical routine: Wiggles, brush teeth, change diaper, sleep sack, read stories.

Instead of putting her in her bed, leaning over the side so I am right down in her face kissing her neck and listening to her laugh hysterically - then starting her sleep sheep and saying "night night." Her saying it back. Me saying "I love you." Her saying it back (loud and fast and usually more than once) like we usually do - I picked her up, let her lean her cheek on my shoulder, and rocked her in the chair until she fell asleep. Something her daddy does with her often. I could tell the exact moment she fell asleep. The exact breath that put her comfortably into her slumber. Her body went limp. She melted into my body. Extra melty cause of the low tone, one of the little gifts that DS offers you that no one else knows about. She fits and molds around my every crevice like she's a part of me again.

As I was sitting there with one hand over her ear and the other patting her bum, I remembered back to when she was just a wee babe and I used to rock her to sleep. Counting the days until she would be too big for me to do it. I remember a specific time when she was around 1. I remember feeling so sad that time was running out. That she wouldn't be little for long and that the days were numbered that she would let me rock her to sleep. I did my best to jump back to the preset moment, think about how in that very moment she was little enough to rock to sleep - right then.

Fast forward to now. There she was almost 3. Gently rocked in my arms, sleeping soundly. I realized that yes, the rocking to sleep has become more of an exception than the rule, but it still happens. Right now - 2 years later- she's not too big to rock to sleep. And I think that although the times will become less and less frequent, there will be those few magical moments where all the stars align and I can rock my baby to sleep, feel her breath on my neck and the weight of her melty little body on mine.

That will just have to do. I have had 3 years and counting of rocking, hugging, kissing and laughing with this little love. All of these moments make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.





Taking birthday calls - ALLLLLLL DAYYYYY!!!



Opening her presents. Obviously, Nola wasn't far behind. Also, she hasn't given Hazel 1 turn on the trampoline since we gave it to them.






I can't believe it's been 3 years with this sweet girl who came into our lives and turned it upside right.

Here's to many more nights I rock you to sleep baby girl. So proud to be your mama.


Happiest of Birthdays - Friday Edition

I just want to leave this week by saying this... There are days in our home where I feel like my head is going to explode with frustration, it's all I can do to keep myself in check. Where Hazel can find the energy and emotion to stage a 45 minute meltdown (like what the?), is completely beyond my scope. And Nola MUST. CLIMB. EVERYTHING. All Day. I must always have something to offer her. A peace offering if you will. Like a cookie, or a drink, or a song, or a toy that's not a toy (kwim?), it's totally irrational.

The girls are hungry, but NO they aren't hungry for THAT.

Pick me UP!!

NO put me DOWN!


There are days when bodily functions pretty much steer my actions for the entire day. Moments where I have to say out loud, "Is that chocolate or poo?" Times where I've had to throw girls in the bath because I am just not 100% sure of the answer to aforementioned question. For example. Here's a text I sent to Matt this week (please don't mistake this as Hazel having any gains in the potty department - we are still at the VERY beginning stages)




There are days, a lot of days, where there's this.


Their love is growing in the most beautiful way. There's lots of laughing fits, hugging, kissing, dancing, chasing, steamrolling and dive-bombing.





I know it was Hazel's birthday but Nola was so excited about it. We must have done the song and the candle 10 times.





All the meltdowns, panic, cleaning, crying and irrational behaviour is just FILLER until I get to the next moments like these.

They are a dream.



Happy Friday.


She is loved...

If it were ever in any doubt, Hazel is loved by many. She received so much love from family and friends. I lost count how many "likes" and Comments she got on social media. It was very touching for her mama, that I know for sure. Here are some quick pics from some of her birthday. More to follow...











So much goodness!!!

I would suggest you stop checking in here this week if you are sick of Hazel's birthday photos. There will be more. You've been warned.

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today's the day. She's 3. I can't run and hide from it anymore. Just a quick note today, to acknowledge our sweet girl turning 3. Unbelievable!



How on earth has it been 3 years already?! How on earth did my girl go from a new born, to a baby, to a toddler, and now moving very close to "little girl" territory. I am so - oh, I don't even know - emotional? about this birthday.




It's just that it's so very difficult to look at her like she's grown. A challenge I think most mothers find impossible. When they are your baby, they are your baby for life.



We have celebrated with the families already. Pics will be posted soon enough. Hazel has really gotten into the spirit of her birthday this year. She liked the presents, the song, the candle. It is really quite cute to see how excited she got. The first birthday celebration we had, she came home and sang the song to herself a few more times before bed. I died!! Obvi.



So today we spend a quiet day with our girls, celebrating life, growth and change. The latter will be cried over first and then celebrated (maybe). I thank God every single night for my sweet family. They are my favourite.



This face. This girl. I could never EVER celebrate her as much as I love her. There is not enough confetti, balloons, cakes and party games to even compare to the amount of love I have for this amazingly stubborn little girl in my heart.



Happiest of birthdays Hazel! If I haven't made it clear I LOOOOOOOOOVE YOU!!!



Will be back soon with some more pics of her special celebrations. Those of you who have been around a while will be expecting a 2 or 3 part post for this special occasion. I can guarantee you there will be a sappy "how is my little girl 3 already?" post for sure.

Meet you back here soon.



Christmas 2014 - The Day

You didn't think that was IT for the Christmas roundup did you? Long time readers you know me better than that. An event like Christmas is almost always guaranteed to be a 2 or 3 part post. This time it's only 2.

I had to add some pics of our morning together, after Santa came. How could I not?

The girls are both still a bit on the young side. They didn't quite understand that Santa was going to show up. It's a good thing he left some presents unwrapped under the tree!!! When Hazel and Nola saw them, they were VERY excited. The big red wagon was, without a doubt, the show stopper. Nola fell in love, HARD. She wanted to sit in it and have us bring all her presents to her so she could open them in there. She learned quickly that in order to actually play with her other toys, she would have to be free.



Traditional breakfast of champions. And toast for the haters (Hazel and Nola #haters).



This year I nicknamed Nola "The Thief of Joy." If there ever was a time that we were feeling the Christmas spirit, she was there to be sure to whine, complain and cry every step of the way. Unless, of course, we gave her whatever her desire was at that moment. Then she was a peach. Also, she thinks she's smarter than everyone.




Hazel was so excited for presents this year. It was super fun to watch her rip all the paper off and uncover the toy underneath. Books are her all time favourite. But this year, the Frozen themed gifts were a VERY close second. She can spot "Elsa" a mile away. She enjoyed most of the Christmas festivities. Big crowds have really never been her thing but she is getting much better.




This annual family pic is going to do me in sanity wise, but it's so worth it to look back and compare them from year to year. This year is my favourite. Nola's FACE!!!!!




These next family pics are VERY high up on my favourite list as well. I will be honest, this was a second much more casual attempt at a family photo. The first attempt may have ended with stomping feet and mass frustration, but I can't be 100% sure.


These pics are just US...period. I am quite certain I just about died after this little moment. Anytime they kiss, where ever we are, it's like fireworks on the 4th of July (or 1st since I'm Canadian).


BOOOOM!!!! CRACK!!!!! POW!!!!!! this is my all time favourite FAVOURITE picture. EVER!!!! Of all time - wait - did I say that already? I know you can't see my face but it's ok, I'm there in the middle of that LOVE. And as long as I am there and get to be in the middle of the LOVE I could care less if you see me or hear me. Chances are, I'm probably too busy soaking in all the love to notice anyway. NOLAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! HAZEL!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo



Hope you are all settling into the new year comfortably.


Christmas 2014 - A Jumble

Well Christmas came and went, again (as it does), and we all survived. This time of year with 2 toddlers is a little on side, BUT we tend to be experts at making lemonade around here so we all did just fine. We anticipated sickness, we did our best to prepare for chaos, we embraced messy, unorganized, houses and schedules, and we drank and ate A LOT (but mostly drank).

We got to see so much of our families. Some we did not and they were very greatly missed.

The girls were very excited to open presents this year. There were a few "situations" in which they may have been fighting over who was going to open the present first, but what's a little healthy may-the-strongest-child-win competition among family members? Most of the time it ended well.




It has definitely proven that taking pics of kids at this age, looking, smiling, and sitting still is LITERALLY impossible. So, I have decided to embrace the little idiosyncrasies and imperfections that make up most of the photos I post. After all, it's what makes them ours. Lots of personality.






There ended up being around 1000 photos just from Christmas, so obvi, I had to narrow it down. We got to spend time with so many members of the family I couldn't possibly show them all here. Plus, I have noticed some of the adults aren't huge fans of being on "that-there-intranet."






With love to all our family, you made a wonderful time of year even more wonderfuller (YES it's a word - I'm almost positive. Just take my word for it though, ok?)



From Us, To YOU

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It's official. You can expect radio silence here on the blog until the NEW YEAR.

I love a new year. New fresh start. Time to make new plans and goals. Reflecting on the last year and how much has changed? How much was accomplished (or not accomplished if you have 2 small children 2 years apart)? Time to look forward to the new adventures you will have. An excuse to clean and purge and donate. A time to celebrate new milestones, birthdays and holidays.

I've never been one for New Year's resolutions. I really try to do my best all year round, as we all do. When the idea strikes to eat healthier or start to exercise, I start right at that moment. Cause why wait? But one that I always need to remind myself of at the end of the year, and it seems to carry me through until the next year is, "TAKE EVERYTHING AS A COMPLIMENT." I find if I try my best to do this, trust me I fail at times, but if I do succeed, everything is received with love and kindness. Challenge yourself and attempt it this coming year. If you search hard enough, there's a compliment in there somewhere.

Happy New Year!!!


In the meantime, I hope you all find peace and joy this holiday season. My wish for you is that you get a chance to recharge your bodies and hearts in the coming days. I hope this rest helps you to be prepared to conquer this upcoming year. You never know what may come your way, let's all be ready.




I hope you take a few moments to receive your blessings this year. Be present, take a minute to think, observe and appreciate. Not sure about you but I literally only have about 1 minute before my kids need something from me. But I can assure you in that 1 single minute, I will be able to recognize my gifts, praise God and remember just how much my cup runneth over. My heart will swell with love and and almost burst. If I had 2 minutes, I might shed a tear of gratitude, but I probably won't, so heart swelling it is.



Seriously, y'all thanks for reading this little blog of ours and letting us share our gifts with you. We are honoured that you have even the tiniest of places in your hearts and your homes for our little girls. We are grateful that you choose to accept that which may be different and spread the accomplishments and the joy of our girl, Hazel.

Much MUCH LOVE to you now and ALWAYS!!! We can't wait to share another year of shenanigans with you.





Wishing you all the very Merriest of Christmas' and the Happiest of Holidays.

From our family to yours. May you find enough peace in your hearts to carry you through another year of new experiences - good or bad, happy or sad. God Bless you!



Christmas is Coming...

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Ahhhhhhhh....the lights. Such fun. This is pretty much the only Christmas activity the girls have actually enjoyed so far. We all know how the Santa visit went. YIKES!

They aren't familiar with the yearly traditions yet. Santa is just a jolly old fellow they've seen in books. They have no concept of making a list and have absolutely no expectations of "getting" anything. And although I can't wait for them to be excited about waking to the treasures that Santa has left, I am kind of enjoying their ever present state of mind at the moment. They just are. I love them for that. Also, I thank them for it.

These kids are happy with anything or nothing. They were good with the lights...




Well, that's not entirely true. Nola looked like this most of the night. Thank goodness Hazel looked like this. Balance.



I think at one point I asked Matt if he thought Nola was trying to ruin Christmas. Soooooo, yeah, the night was peaceful. NOPE!

It wasn't until Mommy made one of these that we started to feel the Christmas spirit. Peppermint ice cream, rum, milk, blend. Magic!!!! If you are feeling crazy - eggnog instead of milk. But RUM!!!









Life certainly isn't perfect, usually, it's far from it. It's messy and unpredictable and LOUD. Often my kids don't get the memo that we are supposed to be spending a magical night together making memories as a family. They end up cranky, or hungry, or tired, or well, let's just say - "not in the Christmas spirit." We can only control so much.

In the end, the lights were a hit. The tree went up and got decorated. Mommy and daddy had special drinks and it felt like Christmas.




Here's to spreading Christmas cheer!!!

If your kids are "not in the spirit of Christmas" please throw on your favourite Christmas song, "I pray on Christmas," works like a charm AND see the drink recipe listed above. 100% chance of increasing the "feelings of Christmas" in your home.

Good LUCK!!!

So this is 35

Turning 35 is going to look really sweet on paper (family-wise, definately not age wise), I mean according to the pictures anyway. bday




But here's the real truth.

You know who didn't care that it was my birthday? MY KIDS!!!!

I book-ended the day with 2 hour of straight crying.

The morning session was Hazel, who I took to daycare for the second time. She was seriously not having it, even though I STAYED WITH HER THE WHOLE TIME. So for 2 hours I held her and tried to comfort her and for 2 HOURS she cried/whined on my shoulder. 2 HOURS!!!!!!

The late evening session was Nola. She woke up around 11pm and cried and screamed from her crib, despite several efforts from Matt and I to comfort her and get her back to sleep. So from 11 to 2 she protested sleep. So why fight it? We got her out of bed and let her do whatever she wanted. I went to bed (you know, cause it was my birthday so I got to go to bed at 2am), Matt stayed up with her until 4.

Thank goodness for all the stuff in between.



Matt came home early from work to help with the kids - WITH PRESENTS! My mom baked me a cake with a peach pie in it. My Nonna made me a lamb roast and artichokes. My Zia and Zio surprised me with cream lemoncello. A good portion of the family squished into my moms house and rubbed elbows at the dinner table. We drank, we laughed, we bribed our kids with chocolate.




It also doesn't hurt that I had a completely separate celebration the week before with the other side of the family. They all cared very much that it was my birthday. They came with gifts, food and smiles. Go figure. SMILES!!!!



Even though my kids didn't care it was my birthday, I wouldn't trade the day I had to go back to those years that my lap was empty on my birthday. A full lap of screaming children trumps an empty lap and day of the year.

35 it is!




Ho Ho HO!!!!

I just had to share this on the blog. For those who don't follow us on Facebook or Instagram. It's not a smile for Happy Friday this week. Well not the kids smiles anyway.

Let's just say the visit with Santa was a lively one.

It all started the INSTANT I tried to hand Nola off to Santa. Her little body stiffened and she screamed her loudest, most horrified, someone-just-ignited-my-clothes-on-fire scream that she could muster. Well, Hazel got one look at that and she was convinced that danger was imminent. She too began to scream her loudest, get me-the-heck-outta-here scream. If Nola was out, there's no WAY Hazel was sticking around to see this thing through. And on and on AND ON they went. Dispite the fact that we were holding them. We reassured them and we DID NOT even try to attempt to hand them back to Santa again, they still carried on. It was really warm and cozy. Like seriously, I was sweating.

Anyway, a little poem, if you'll indulge me...

We decided to visit Santa and get out of the house, Upon our arrival, nothing was stirring, not even a mouse. When suddenly there arose such a clatter. Everyone walking past had to see what was the matter. And what to their wondering eyes might appear? Two tiny humans stiff as a board, flailing their arms and yelling from fear. With Santa in the middle, chuckling with glee. And I on his right trying not to flee. The elf behind the camera through her arms up in defeat. All I can hope is there was no live Tweet (#insanesantavisit) So with my red face and sweaty arm pits, I collected my children, and gave my humblest of apologies. We exited the area and exchanged a look of terror, while we laughed and declared that this make for good stories.

The END.


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Happy Friday everyone!!!!

Nola's 1st Birthday Celebration

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Ok so somehow it's Thursday. Well then...

Here's some pics of the big birthday celebration, which is quickly becoming history as the days keep flying by. I must admit I really, truly enjoyed planning this party. I generally enjoy entertaining but since I've had 2 kids, I find it so difficult to find the energy to really PLAN a party. Like put 100% effort into every detail. For this party, I was all in. I am really happy with the final product. It was a really inviting, calm atmosphere. The kids got to see some cool nature displays and adults got to sit, talk and enjoy each others company.



Nola, however, had this face....ALLLLL DAAAAYYYY!!!




I just had to add this pic of my father-in-law eating lunch with all the kids. His choice, of course.



Literally....ALLLLL DAAAAY!!!



The only photo I have of the 2 girls together #fail.



Smash cake. She really was gentle with the cake. Not a messy smasher at all.



While Nola was having her moment, this adorableness was going on right in front of her. I absolutely LOVE how much Hazel loves her big cousin Owen. Imagine the smile on his face too. Ughhhhh...



Actually she looks happy here. Interesting.



Cutest ever!!! She saw the candle lit and was totally obsessed with the cake. Wouldn't take her eyes off of it.

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Love was in the air...



The best gifts are the homemade ones. Stella really outdid herself with an album just for Nola. A picture from each month of her life. Such an amazingly thoughtful gift. Of course Hazel got one too. All 3 of our nieces bring so much love into our girls lives. I can't wait to see how their relationship grows and how close they become.



So thankful to have been able to celebrate all of your 365 days baby girl. You bring life to this house every single day.



French Fries and Popsicles

Before I post that really annoying "look-what-we-did-for-our-baby's-first-birthday" post. Here is a little of our everyday reality. This was Nola's actual birthday celebration. The day after the "look-what-we-did-for-our-baby's-first-birthday" party.  





We wanted to make sure that Nola had a very special day. Including a very special dinner, just like we did for Hazel. For Hazel's first, we took her to our favourite Italian restaurant. We had some wine, some great pasta (her favourite), and great service. It was such a nice night. A special dinner for our girl, Hazel. Of course we wanted to make sure that Nola got the same treatment on her 1st birthday as well. Nothing but the best...

They had Popsicles and French Fries for dinner. IN THAT ORDER! Then they had cupcakes, soooooooooooooo...



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I Looooooooove when Nola looks at Hazel like this...




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Moral of the story...

What's good for the goose is NOT necessarily good for the gander? RIGHT?!!!

Oh and also...

Once you have the 2nd child, forget about going to fancy restaurants to eat #justsayin





I told you it wasn't over...

Look better Halloween pics. I wish I could take the credit but my sis-in-law is the one who has rightfully earned a pat on the back here for a job well done. A lot of sweat, high pitched noises and signing songs goes into getting a photo like this. And yet, all but 1 are smiling (NOOOOOLLLLLLLLAAAAAA....grrrrr).

Actually those are great odds. I'm impressed.




Still, we couldn't manage to get Hazel to hold the staff but, low and behold, we got her to keep her bonnet on for more than 5 seconds.




Here is proof that there was a staff. Handmade by "dada"



Consider this your Happy Friday post this week. Next post will be Nola's birth story as I continue to plan a celebration for her first year of life. I can't even.


Happy Halloween Friday!!!!

I present to you.... Little Bo Peep and her little wondering sheep.


I learned that it's super easy to #FAIL when you piece together your own costume. Especially when your plan comes together pretty perfectly and your child (in this example Little Bo Peep) refuses to wear the parts of the costume that make her who she is. The bonnet and the staff. Oh yes, they exist. In fact, they are adorable. However, Hazel really didn't see the point in either and refused to even let me take ONE PICTURE of her in the full gear.

This is not over. I WILL try again.

It's a good thing she's cute...seriously. Nola completely stole the show at the Halloween party. I am obsessed with this costume. Thanks for making that easy for me.




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Closing out Down Syndrome Awareness month. It was a great one!!! I have truly enjoyed reading all the interesting links people have been sharing on their social media channels. Thanks to all of you who took the time to read about DS this month. And an extra special thanks for sharing Hazel on your Facebook pages and blogs. We had over 200 shares on that DSAM pic. GUYS!!!!! That's insane for us!!!!!

Thank you!!!!!!!

October was all about Hazel. November will be all about Nola. In honour of her first year, I will share her birth story and a general update about her (which will include lots of pics). Then, of course, I will post pics of her birthday celebration. It's unbelievable that my little baby is turning 1.

And with alllllllllll that...

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!!

Happy Friday!!!!

Happy Birthday Daddy

I don't often talk about Matt here on the blog. Not much is said about our relationship besides a few comments about parenting choices, situations and things like that. There really is no real reason for it, I just don't feel the need to share. Something has to remain sacred...HA! Just because I don't share doesn't mean that we are not the real deal. Matt is the real deal. Mama (& daddy) raised this boy right. He is a supportive and loving husband (not that we don't have our moments guys, trust me we do), he is a loyal friend and a very present uncle, brother and son.



But the thing is, he is LITERALLY the BEST father that there ever was. Like, I can't even DEAL with how much he loves our girls. And how much they love him in return. It's something that can't be measured or compared to anything. I can't write about it. I can't talk about it. I could never explain it and do it justice. If you've been around him and his kids that you know what I mean. You've seen it. It's so obvious.

Let me put it this way. I had a good 'ol fashion ugly cry the other night when I looked up and he was having a dance session with Nola. Something that happens often 'round these parts. My mind immediately went to them dancing at her wedding. She's gonna be a big girl then, but I have a feeling she's not gonna look any different to us then. She will still look like our little baby girl. It's all just too much for my heart to deal with.



Anyway, why today? What's with the talking about Matt today? It's daddy's birthday!!!




Also, as a little side note. I'd like to take this opportunity to speak to the future boys that think they are going to try to date my daughters...

Dear Nola & Hazel's future husband,

Good luck even trying to compare to their daddy. He is stronger than you, funnier than you, smarter than you, kinder than you, more generous than you will ever be, cuter than you and he knows just how they like to dance. He melts them with a single glance. Soooooooo, yeah. Good luck with that!

Sincerely, Nola & Hazel's overbearing mother.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month



This is the 3rd year in a row that October has held special meaning for us in this house. Hard to believe that 4 years ago I would not have even noticed a reference to Down Syndrome Awareness Month (DSAM), let alone have a blog that dedicates much of its time to advocating for those who have DS.

I would never go back to the me "pre DS." There's so much I would like to go back and tell myself about the beauty that I was about to experience (not that I would have believed me). It's a very difficult thing to do - accept the unknown. And hear I am now, almost 3 years later, not only accepting but loving, living, breathing, educating, advocating, supporting, challenging and hopefully most of all...


Changing not only my outlook on Down syndrome, not only our family's and friend's outlook - but YOURS. All of you. Every time you take the time to come over and visit us here on Chasing Hazel. Every time you share something on our Facebook page or like a picture on our Instagram feed, you are showing your support.

Support for Hazel - yeah sure - but also support for all those with Down syndrome.

When you look at Hazel with love in your eyes...

When you celebrate her accomplishments with us...

When you realize that she's a little girl that has learned to walk, talk, play and have temper tantrums...


How many of you have come across an individual with DS in the community and been a little less intimidated to speak to them because you know Hazel?

Oh - I hope A LOT!!!

Yes, this month is about raising awareness but I hope that we have been doing a good job raising awareness all year long and not just this month.

Guys I don't write this blog to make money, I don't receive any endorsements, funds or grants for the time I spend here writing. I don't publish posts because some body asked me too.

I do it for Hazel.


I do it so that you feel a little less intimidated by her. I do it so that you know that people with Down syndrome are beautiful, just as any other person. They have a great deal to offer us. I do it so that you can experience just a little part of the joy and love that we experience everyday. We don't just experience joy from Hazel, but from all the individuals that we have welcomed into our hearts since the beginning of this journey. I know a love now that I can't even begin to explain. My heart swells with pride for all our little friends with DS. Their accomplishments, are our accomplishments.

We are in this together. All of us. We are paving the way. But first we have to take out our power tools and heavy machinery and break the very hard concrete roads that are already laid. We need to change the infrastructure and then pave a new road entirely. Our new roads bend, weave and fork in ways that we never thought possible. At the end they join together and lead us to a most breathtaking view.

I am calling on you. Won't you please help me?

Talk about Down syndrome in your homes, share our Facebook links, open your hearts up to something a little different, teach you kids about it.

If there is anything I can do to help I am IN!!! ALL IN!!!! Email me or post a comment.

Sometimes this space is just sad...

It's been 2 years my LOVE. apryl


I know that you watch over my girls everyday. I also know that sweet Nola was a gift from you. You certainly left your mark on her.


The funny part is I never noticed it looked like a butterfly. One of my friends pointed out. But there it is, clear as day.

And though I will never be able to wrap my arms around you in appreciation for my most precious and perfect gift, I promise to hug and kiss my girls just one time extra every single day instead.

You live on in my heart and are still such a huge part of my future.

Miss you heaps and heaps Auntie Apes.



Missing this crazy crew.

Father's Day

Well we just had a trial run with how things would be around here without daddy... The verdict is that we HATE it! All of us.

Nothing seemed to go right. There were lots of meltdowns, from everyone (me included). The girls turned the whining on high and let er rip ALL WEEK LONG. We are spoiled. Daddy keeps this ship a float. Nothing is more clear to me now. I am just a tiny part of why this house functions so smoothly.

Dang! And I was getting all ready to dust off my "super-mom" cape. I guess I will bashfully fold it back up and put it on the top shelf of my closet where the rest of the things that don't fit me belong. Enough said.

These girls know just how lucky they are to have hit the jack pot on their daddy. They adore him. Saying we are "lucky" is an understatement, but I haven't slept in days and it's all I got.

Happy Father's Day!

PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage1

Wishing all you dads and dads-to-be out there a very merry Father's Day.