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Our Elf Changed Jobs: For The First Time It’s Actually Awesome

We all need seasonal help, right? That is why I HIRED our Elf. That’s right, the little bugger works for ME. And now he makes everything merry and bright.

Mother of Serendipity

Let’s get real, shall we? The few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are stressful. Most of us don’t need to add-on by coaching an Elf to be creative.

Not to mention, my kids were the type who would grab our Elf and go long. That first year, our Elf, Donnie, spent a lot of rehab time in the freezer trying to get his magic back. 

I am not ashamed to admit, it took me a while to sort through my feelings for the little home invaders. Clearly there is a benefit, and it should be fun for the kids, but I didn’t want some Elf making my husband and I miserable in the process.

From the start, we told our Elf, Donnie, there would be rules. None of this giving the kids 25 days of gifts nonsense, and we weren’t okay with having a “trickster” Elf either. He…

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Holistically Speaking: Everything is Connected

Mother of Serendipity

Chaos. There’s a theory about that, you know.

My phone buzzed with the news alert at the same time the elevator doors opened.

I shooed my FrankenZombie and Elena of Avalor inside, waited to see which one would win the scramble to push the button, then pulled out my phone.

A pickup truck had run over people in a bike lane downtown. Possible shots.

Please, no children.

I live in NYC and THAT was my only thought. I’ve gotten over being shocked by it all.

In my gut I knew what I’ve known, every time, since a second airplane flew into a tower 16 years ago: Of course this was deliberate.

I walked around the east side of Manhattan, letting my kids decipher a map of places to go trick-or-treat. I focused on creepy makeup and colorful costumes, giggles and squeals, the warm smiles and sparking eyes of adults who…

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In the Box was a “Heart of a Warrior”

Mother of Serendipity

Disney princess, mystery box, subscription box, toys, toy box
A few weeks ago my Girl received her first Disney Princess Pleybox! Like all kids, she LOVES receiving and opening packages – especially mystery boxes! Her Pleybox was filled with so many goodies, she couldn’t believe it!

Opening the bright pink package she discovered not only had the fun arrived, it was full of items featuring the fiercest, feistiest princess of them all: Merida.

To say she was delighted would be a gross understatement. You see, Brave was released the year my daughter was born (my son was 2), and it quickly became a family favorite. So it was hardly surprising when Merida was the first character my girl ever went gaga about.

And let’s be honest, like Merida, my girl is both head-strong and has the #HeartOfAWarrior! Now she has the “most perfect purple” tee to proclaim it boldly. (Yes, she really squeaked, “Oh Mama, it’s the most perfect…

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Not Personal? Like Hell. Bottom Line? So NOT Okay.

It’s been a bit of a week…

Mother of Serendipity

Yesterday some man I’ve never seen before came at me, enraged, shouting in my face.

Emboldened, if slightly less loud, the second stranger also berated me with his finger-pointing at my glasses. As I turned away, the first guy was coming back to shout in my face again.
All of this happened on a playground, with my children under my feet, and dozens of other caregivers and kids standing witness, their jaws agape.
To make matters that much worse, each man had a small child in their care.
Let me pause here and make something abundantly clear: I’m nowhere near a perfect parent. Moreover, I admit I made a mistake in how I handled my kids today.

However, even if I am the dumbest of all moms, that would not make what transpired okay.

Both my kids and another of their friends were getting out of hand on the swings. The…

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Memorial Day: A Day of Rememberance

Papa Does Preach


Well, we come to another Memorial Day. This is one of my favorite federal holidays. This is the day that we have designated to say thank you to our brave men and women who serve in our military. Not just the ones serving at this very moment in lands far away, and in areas of great peril, but more importantly, we say thank you to the memories of those soldiers that have made the ultimate sacrifice; the soldiers that have died on the field of battle.

I fancy myself a pretty patriotic person. I may not agree with most of what our government is about a lot of the time, but that has never affected the way I view the men and women who wear “The Uniform.” I spent some time in the military myself. This probably adds to my patriotism a bit.

I don’t talk about my time in…

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You Broke Me

Papa Does Preach

“Daddy, you broke me!”

Through heavy sobs, the words came spilling out of his mouth. Eyes, red and bloodshot from crying so intensely; even causing him to do that heavy, shortened breath stutter, making his head shake with every gasp for his next breath.

I knew this day would come…and admittedly, selfishly, avoiding this day is one of the reasons I used to say I never wanted to have kids.

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Does a Clock Worry When it’s Time to Unwind?

#MothersDay meets #FBF meets #OnFridaysWeHaiku

Mother of Serendipity

Motherhood clockworks:
the balanced pendulum swings 
in constant motion. 

Tug the weights too much
– pendulum energy shifts – 
wrecking ball mood swings. 



Inspired by all the mothers we celebrate this month, the amazing women of Mommitmentas well as this week’s prompt from Haiku Horizons

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Fine Tune Talk Time (with help from TiffinTalk)

By now you may understand how TiffinTalk‘s cards have become a trusted piece of my parenting toolkit. Why? Because every morning my Boy and I have a few new questions to think about, and at the end of the day, we have something besides “what did you do at school today” to chat about. Conversations that aren’t related to TV shows or the coolest apps.

Mother of Serendipity

We live in a fast-paced, sensory-bombarding world. Raising two kids in New York City, the days and weeks whiz by as quickly as an express subway through a local station. Finding ways to slow things down and connect with my kiddos one on one is crucial.

If you’re nodding your head, maybe you’ll recognize a question I find myself asking daily: Where did my precocious six year old stumble on that random factoid, wild idea, shockingly new vocabulary? I bet you also know the trick of trying to use such random comments as an opportunity to tease out some enlightening and/or meaningful conversation.

That’s the dream. How it works with my Boy who has ADHD? Just as the light of some real talk seems to be peeking out, Life happens (or a shiny object skips across his mind’s eye), and the moment is put on hold. Once you circle back to the topic your kid has forgotten what they wanted to say. It…

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What Happened when I got my Daily Goodie Box?

Who doesn’t love getting goodies in the mail? Especially if they are FREE!!
Here’s the scoop on this fun service.

Mother of Serendipity

When the folks at DailyGoodieBox reached out to see if I’d like to receive one of their boxes in exchange for writing about the overall experience, I was more than willing. After all, I love trying new products, and I’m rarely shy with my opinion. Besides which, this isn’t some exclusive offer just for influencers, bloggers, and social media mavens. DailyGoodieBox lets everyone get in on the fun of testing and reviewing products.

img_1313I was so delighted when I received my very first DailyGoodieBox, I decided to do a live unboxing on Facebook!

What I found inside this little box were 10 different products. Some sample sizes, but most were full sized products, just as you’d purchase them. If you’ve ever gotten free samples in the mail, you realize that was a pleasant surprise.

For example, there was the full-sized tube of Rose Garden Lip Gloss. The color is rich, long-wearing, and has subsequently…

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The killing game.



My face emerged from the water, breathless, and I squinted at the summer moon.

eeeee- zzzzzzz-pssszzzzzz-eeee

Blue light spilled over all the trees surrounding the pool, and my dad stood with his hands on his hips and his chest pushed out, self satisfied in the glow.

“Hear that, Gel? That’s the sound of mosquitoes getting zapped. I think that machine there will finally take care of all these bugs.”

I smiled and dove under the surface again, avoiding a kamikaze horsefly.

That summer, and all the summers I can remember of my childhood, clouds of mosquitoes swarmed through every play date, every cook out, every diving contest, every back yard race, every breath. My sister and I, pox-speckled by the Fourth of July, grew up falling asleep to the unique symphony of Wisconsin crickets and our own relentless skin-scratching.

I tried to tune out the voices downstairs.

I held my breath and…

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