For our last bonfire, I prepped all of the Smore’s fixings before we went out to the fire. Made it so much easier to assemble without having to fuss with packaging!

We’ve had some incredibly long, hard winters in Minnesota the last couple of years. They are so, so long…  and summer seems so very short in comparison. Two friends have picked up and moved their families to California recently because they’ve had enough of Minnesota. Ironically, they are leaving during the best part of the year. The time where we all make peace with the pain of the past several months and move full speed ahead into summer and all of its glory.

I’ve been thinking of California a lot lately. I used to think Minnesota was the place for me to be, forever, because this is where I grew up and all my family and friends are here. But now, at this time in my life, and the amazing way smart phones and social media keep us all connected… it doesn’t seem that strange (or scary) to move away. Of course I have a very strong (and legally bound) reason to stay here = keeping my kids in the same State as their father. But if it weren’t for that… honestly? I’m thinking I’d be looking for some new digs on the left coast.

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Image by Nicolas Raymond, Creative Commons License.

When my marriage ended, nearly five years ago, I didn’t know anyone my age who had been through the same thing, especially not anyone with small children. I longed for someone to talk to who would understand first hand what I was going through.

Now, sadly, more and more of my friends are also getting divorced. Nearly every month or so I get a call or email from a friend, acquaintance or blog reader looking for advice and comfort – hoping to talk to someone who understands. And while I’m always sad to hear about anyone struggling in their relationship, I’m grateful I’m able to lend an ear and offer a few tidbits of experience that may help.

I’m certainly no expert on divorce, nor do I want to be. I’m not an attorney or counselor or a minister and I’m certainly not a relationship expert. But as someone who has been through a divorce, I know some of my personal experiences can help others when they find themselves in this very difficult situation. Here are some of the things I share with friends looking for help: 

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Last month we traveled to Florida by airplane. It was the first time my children have flown, and it was a very big deal for us, especially since my daughter has severe food allergies. She is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts (all other nuts), shellfish, eggs and melons. I had many concerns getting ready for the trip – I was worried about peanut residue on the plane and if people would be eating peanuts around us.

I’m happy to report everything went well. Here are some of things we did to prepare:

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Last night each of my kids had a friend stay over. And my house is super clean. What just happened?!

We don’t have friends spend the night very often. My kids spend every other weekend with their Dad, for starters, and on the weekends they’re with me, we usually have plans that would make it impossible to host sleepovers.

But this weekend, it finally worked out for both kids to invite a friend over (after weeks of trying to coordinate with other parents). I wondered if having four kids instead of two would be challenging, but it was a breeze. Everyone got along well and had a great time. And me? I’m over the moon happy that I spent a quiet weekend at home and was able to catch up on some things. And my house is cleaner than it was before. :)

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This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week – and you all know this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, so of course I’m going to write something about it, right? Right! Below is a great infographic from FARE which illustrates some of the top stats on food allergies. Please take a moment to read it. Consider sharing it with your network!




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