Is Having A Large Family Really So Hard?

Bellonheels.com ...more
I have four children and only one wasn't planned - the first!  One she got the ball rolling, ... more

The Day I Divorced My Husband’s Name

Names make the news all the time. Just weeks ago this world waited with bated breath and whispering humbleness for the name of the new prince of England to be announced. People are still mocking baby North West’s parents (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West) for the joke they seemed to have pulled off. It wasn’t that long ago that Cher, Madonna, and Prince ruled the world with no last names at all, the latter going without a name entirely for a while.   ...more
When I got married, I took my husband's name, but kept my maiden name, too.  Sort of.  I just ... more

An Open Letter of Love to All Moms

Dear new mothers and soon-to-be-mothers and maybe even mothers who have been mothers for a long damn time, I’ve decided to write you all a letter based on things I’ve learned since becoming a mother. I have four children; the oldest is 10, and the youngest is 18 months old. Although I haven’t been a mother as long as many other mothers, I think I’ve earned a place to be able to share some advice that should help you not only be a better mother but perhaps will also bring you some inner peace....more
I'm also a mother of four!  (My oldest is almost 9 and my youngest is almost 6 weeks old.)  I ... more

Useless Epidural Advice: Think of the Letter C

All of a sudden I feel this sharp pain in my lower left back. The pain makes me tense, so when she puts the epidural in, she says, "Arch your back." The lovely nurse says, "Think of the letter C." I'm thinking of the letter C. Okay. The anesthesiologist nurse says, "I didn't get it. We will have to try again."...more
Think of the letter C?  I'm not sure I would have gotten that either!   When I gave birth to my ... more

Do We Ever Really Leave High School?

Lissy Ryder, the main character in Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, never really left high school. She hit her peak during those four years and stopped growing and reaching. When she discovered there is life after high school it was a complete and total shock. While we may not all be like Lissy, I still see references every week online to things being just like high school....more
I have great memories from high school and truly enjoyed the experience, but it isn't ... more

Who Do You Want To Be?

When we first met Lissy Ryder in Jen Lancaster's novel Here I Go Again, she didn't know who she wanted to be. She was still focused on who she had been. Her high school days has been her glory days, so why should she want to be any different than she was in her teens? During the course of the novel she learns that if you stay who you were, you'll never become who you are supposed to be....more
I wanted to be a neurosurgeon when I was in high school.  That was my goal until my senior year ... more

Would You Like To Go Back In Time?

In Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, Lissy Ryder is given a potion that can help her right all her wrongs. Being the person she is, Lissy doesn't approach it cautiously. No, she throws it back like it's an espresso shot. When she wakes up and realizes she's back in the past -- back in high school -- she's elated. That would not be my reaction. ...more
I wouldn't want to travel back in time to change anything.  Sure, I regret some decisions I'd ... more

The Hidden Costs of Private Preschools

I am familiar with meltdowns in Target. I have two small children, after all, so I expect to leave Target in a blur of tears, whining, crying, and threats to never, ever return. When I got an unexpected opportunity to go to Target by myself, however, I wasn’t prepared for the meltdown that ensued....more
The private preschool we chose for our girls has done really well in this area.  At the ... more

Music Tells Your Story

One of the things I probably identified the most with in Jen Lancaster's Here I Go Again were the discussions between Lissy and Brian about music. When you are teenager, few things feel bigger than the music you listen to in high school. It becomes the soundtrack for that part of your life, and you carry it with you going forward....more
"Talk Dirty to Me" by Poison is THE SONG!  My best friends and I did a lip sync performance of ... more

Is My Willpower Challenge Over Now?

When we first starting talking about Kelly McGonigal's book The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It, I was intrigued but I wasn't sure how I'd feel about actually doing my willpower challenge. What would I learn? Would be be scary? What if I failed? Well, I've learned and I've struggled. Does that mean I'm done now? ...more
I've learned how important self-awareness is.  I spend way too much time stuck in the grooves ... more