Santa kids Ruby 2015 crop

Suddenly it’s December in Minnesota, which really means that everything takes longer and there’s never quite enough time to do everything. Every morning there’s a mad search for matching gloves and boots, and we add an extra 15 minutes to the routine so the kiddos have time to put on snow pants and all their gear before venturing outside. The roads are slippery and that super cute dog of mine comes in all wet from the snow… and yet there’s happy Christmas music and pretty lights dotting our commute to and from work and school. Everyone seems just a bit happier and looking forward to holiday parties and family gatherings.

Today as we were driving to see Santa with our puppy Ruby on her first Christmas (isn’t this picture just the cutest ever?), Avery asked me if I believed in Santa Claus (gulp). Of course, like all smart parents do, I avoided giving an answer and asked her the question, “What do you think?” Her response was a resounding yes. Although the very fact she asked tells me her little mind is grappling with this concept. And then (double gulp) Alex chimed in that one of the boys in fourth grade has been spreading rumors that Santa isn’t real, but Alex knows it’s not true because Santa is actually a Saint (they learned about it at school). And while I’m grateful the spirit of Santa is still quite alive in our home, Avery has been suddenly complaining that the Elf on the Shelf’s smile is creepy. So I’m not sure he’ll make it much longer around here.

This season seems even more joyful as Jason and I are planning our wedding for January and preparing to move and merge our families together. We’re keeping the wedding as small as we can, but of course there are a number of details that need to be arranged. You know, all the things that come with planning a wedding and packing up, moving and selling a house. Yet instead of feeling like a giant burden of stress, the joy and excitement and love we all feel is motivating us and propelling us forward.

Oh, and I can’t forget, my Christmas baby, Avery, turns 8 on Christmas Day! Her birthday party is this weekend and heavens I haven’t even planned a gift or a cake (maybe cupcakes) so I have a bit of work to do this week. But it will all get done and it will be great, I’m sure of it.

And before I sign off, a holiday warm-fuzzies PSA: If you are one of the few people on Earth who has NOT seen the movie Love Actually, go fire up your Netflix and watch it right away. I promise, it’s one of the best romantic (and funny!) holiday movies you’ll ever see.


engagement photo

Friends, I’m so thrilled to share with you that Jason and I are getting married! Many of you know we’ve been together nearly three years (our anniversary is in January). We (and our kids) spend as much time together as we can and love our {blended} family. Oh yes, and the puppy Ruby loves Jason, too.

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You are amazing. Yes, you, the parent of a child with food allergies. It’s not easy. Actually, it’s damn hard. And I want to take just a moment to celebrate how strong and inspirational you are to me and countless others.

I know being thrown into this alternate reality must have felt like the world’s cruelest joke – your child actually getting sick from eating food. And I know you have done everything you can to figure out what was going on and painstakingly research the best doctors in town, labs who work the best with kids for countless blood draws and hunted up and down for coupons and cheapest pharmacies for the very expensive medications you must now buy for your child.

I see you tracking down safety information for food and very cautiously trying out restaurants. I know you drive all over town, to multiple stores, for safe and “normal” food options for your child. I’ve watched you doing your best to make birthday cakes from scratch when you’d much rather order from a bakery. And being worried about who your child is sitting next to in school and if they had peanut butter on their toast for breakfast.

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halloweenI hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! It was a busy time around here, trying my best to give my kiddos a fun holiday for themselves and their friends. I’ll admit, there have been years where I’ve been consumed with fear on how to manage Halloween with a little one with severe food allergies. But the good news is, each year it gets easier and easier. And this year was the best yet!

I do my best to keep the emphasis on FUN and costumes and less on food. We had three different times to celebrate – the Halloween party at school, the Food Allergy Resource Fair with trick-or-treating and, of course, Halloween night. That makes three times to dress up in Halloween costumes, three times to have fun with friends and, well, three times to navigate safe vs. unsafe candy.

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We’re participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Holy smokes, I’m getting a lot of questions this week about food allergies and Halloween – which makes me super happy!

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project? Are you doing it?

Do kids with severe food allergies even go trick or treating? How is that safe?

Do you have tips for families with food allergies on how to take some of the focus off of candy?

What are some allergy-friendly candies I could give out this year? Where can I buy it?

What else can I do to make my house an allergy-friendly stop for children with food allergies? 

I’ve covered some of these topics in previous posts over the years, but I’m going to take a crack at answering all of these questions in one post. Hold onto your pumpkins, ladies and gentlemen!

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Marketing Mama® features articles on parenting as a working mom, health, family activities, cool products, my two adorable children and sometimes I even talk about marketing.


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