Easter smiles

Pretty dresses, a toddler-sized sport coat, Tom in a tie, and our last Easter as a family of four. As if I needed another excuse to take a family photo. Before we left for church, our kids were more than happy to sit with my parents’ dog for photos. They sat there and smiled perfectly. We had plenty

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Good Friday

Every year spring seems a bit like a miracle. Even my yard, which was cold and brown a week ago, is blooming. The past few weeks have felt unrelenting. We have dear friends who are mourning a great loss, those waiting, aching for answered prayer, others who are trusting God for healing and His sovereign care. It feels heavy.

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Once upon a Mare Bear Mop Top

I always dreamed of dressing my little girl in smocked outfits and grosgrain bows. It never, not once, occurred to me that I’d have a daughter with an opinion. Every day clothes are a battle. That shirt Mary Virginia was obsessed with yesterday? NOOOO! I NO LIKE IT! I no lika dat shirt! I find myself

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We’re calling this our Mothball-calypse

My clothesline is full of tiny little clothes. Before you get sentimental looking at these ruffle-bottomed sleepers, onesies with doggies and teeny-tiny swaddles, let me tell you: if the Internet could somehow transmit smell, you’d be frantically covering that vent on your computer right now. These clothes look sweet, but my goodness they smell. After two washes and over

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Month Twenty-one

These posts are getting harder and harder to write, and it’s not just because I’m getting lazier with each passing month. It’s because Mary Virginia as grows, she’s becoming more singular and harder to articulate. There are two things on my mind as I finally sit down to write this update, almost two weeks after she turned

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Here comes Salty Dog Cottontail

To make this video even more adorable, imagine Mary Virginia wearing a soft pink smocked dress with embroidered bunnies instead of the oversized Salty Dog Cafe shirt she asks to wear every day. While you’re at it, imagine that, instead of screaming “Why’s he not in a cage?” from the other room, David is singing along.

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31 weeks

I always dread asking for the bathroom when I’m pregnant because, suddenly, I become a cliche. Oh! She’s pregnant! Of COURSE she needs to pee! Get this girl to the bathroom! But, actually, I have to go to the bathroom because I’m a human. In fact, I bet you’ve used the bathroom today. Maybe even more

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A cat scorned

The past few weeks have been really cold and snowy, so we haven’t been letting Brigham outside like we normally do. He’s spending all his extra time looking for places to hide from the kids, and gazing out the window dreaming about…what do cats dream about? …Autonomy? Whenever I write a post about our cat, I use

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Semantics

David: Mommy, is tomorrow Friday? Me: No, tomorrow is Tuesday. David: But it’s not raining! Me: That’s because it rains some days but not other days. Since we’ve never really talked very much about the days of the week, I wonder if he’s asking these questions because he’s learning about them in school. So I ask: Me: If yesterday was

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Month Twenty

Here we are, it’s February 17, and Mary Virginia is 20 months, one week and three days old. I thought about just skipping this month  — I’ve done it before — but then I realized it would be a mistake. Blogging is getting harder; I have less free time during the day by and when the kids are

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Semantics

While I was pregnant with them, I knitted blankets for both of my babies. A green one for David, a purple one for Mary Virginia. They have their initials on them, and as soon as they’re born, I use it all the time to try to convince them to choose it as their comfort blanket. These take a

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The one and only thing on my baby registry

I’ve never had anything against minivans. Maybe it’s because I drove my mom’s minivan a lot in high school, or maybe because I’ve just always driven cars for their function and economy over coolness. (Except, I did have a 1985 Bronco II when I was in college. Even though the paint was peeling and — with no warning —

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King David and Queen Mary

A friend of mine is pregnant with her second child and she asked me for advice on handling two. I drew a blank. After all, we’re still taking it day by day over here. Then it hit me, start praying for their sibling relationship now. Before Mary Virginia was born, I was mostly worried about how

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Portraits of my son

One of Tom’s Christmas presents to me this year was a photography class. And, before I go any further, talk about a slam-dunk Christmas from Tom. I got him a jacket he didn’t want and underwear. I want to take a moment to publicly apologize. After we, um, lost our DSLR this fall, we upgraded to a

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A call to prayer

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:22-24 We recently switched Internet providers, and during the process of the switch Internet provider #1 cut our service about 24

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Like mother, like daughter

When my mom describes me as a baby, she usually says I was, like, the sweetest baby ever. She says I was mild-mannered, chubby, bald, cuddly, and a great sleeper; I slept every night from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. without fail. So when our kids wake up at 4:55 a.m., skip their nap, and

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Doing our part to perpetuate stereotypes

The other day we went to Target and left with ANOTHER new toy car for David, and ANOTHER doll for Mary Virginia. If you know anything about gender stereotyping and how toys perpetuate gender roles, then my shopping trip is grooming David to be an engineer at Ford Motor Company and Mary Virginia to flunk third grade math. If

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Month Nineteen

Every night before I go to bed, I make sure my slippers, robe, and fleece pants are right by my bed. Last week I realized, this is the milestone I can’t wait for. I’m can’t wait for the night I go to sleep without first preparing to spend a significant part of the night awake. When Mary Virginia wakes up

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Just a bit past the halfway point

Last week, on the morning of New Year’s Eve, I had my 20-week ultrasound, except I was actually 21 weeks. Here’s a funny story, when I went to the OB for my first appointment, I thought I was only eight weeks pregnant. Before I left for the appointment I warned Tom, “There’s a chance I

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Home for Christmas

Our family had a grand total of three Christmas celebrations this year. This was our first year spending Christmas morning at our house with just our family. We spent the next day with Tom’s family, and then visited my family. Each celebration was full of wonder, wide eyes, shredded wrapping paper, and inevitably ended with David whining, “Mommy, where’s

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And then we went to the aquarium

The only thing we had on the agenda of our family lame-cation was a trip to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. We figured we’d need at least one actual activity because toddlers operate in a time warp. That’s where that saying, “the days are long but the years are short” comes from — toddlers mess with the

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The Krieger family lame-cation

A few weeks ago Tom was looking at his schedule and realized he had a bunch of vacation days he needed to use before the end of the year. Since one of the rules of the Krieger family is that letting vacation time go to waste is a crime, he started trying to figure out

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The Season of Advent

Yesterday (November 30) was the first day of Advent, which means today (December 1) is the second day of Advent, which means it’s not too late to start an Advent devotional Advent is the season of waiting. And OHMIGOSH we are waiting in this house. We have a little bag of treats we got for

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Month seventeen

This has been a tough month. That’s why this update is more than two weeks late. I just considered skipping another month. But, last night, I decided to write it — bursting with whining and complaining — so that next month I can just bypass all that and tell you about the wonderful things my

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Semantics

  Last night we went to a Thanksgiving celebration with friends, and we were driving home a bit later than we should have; not respecting bedtime quite as closely as we promised we would. When we stay out too late, Mary Virginia is not a happy traveller. While she cries the entire way home, the rest of us

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A family exercise in gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches, lots of my friends do “thankful” activities with their kids. The idea is simple, ask the kids what they’re thankful for and display their answers — and yours. This is our take on it. I decided to trace our hands and hang them like a garland in our dining room. Initially I

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Scenes of fall

My mom mentioned the other day that the leaves were beautiful at home — one of the prettiest falls she can remember. It occurred to me that now that I live in Richmond, a relatively flat city, I miss out on the fall colors in the mountains. When I was growing up I took the

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This year on Halloween Day

This is how things looked in my house just before leaving to trick or treat. David was hiding behind the couch, screaming because he did NOT want to be a skeleton, he wanted to be a bat. David KNEW he was going to be a skeleton, David had ASKED, no BEGGED, to be a skeleton. He

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An unexpected fade

Before I begin this story, I think it’s important to note that it happened on my birthday. There are a lot of other qualifiers I wanted to include, but I decided that was the most important one, because if I’d been at a spa getting a facial and a massage this would have never happened.

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Semantics

Even though I work really hard to limit his screen time, David is a full-on TV-loving kid. He’ll watch anything, anytime, anywhere and if the TV is off, he asks me non-stop if we can turn it on. He tries different techniques all the time: “I have a good idea, Mommy! Let’s watch TV!” Or my

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Pumpkin patch

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, I’m amandaleighvt), you know that my family’s version of a trip to the pumpkin patch was a trip to Kroger to buy pumpkins. There are pumpkins on my porch; everyone’s happy. No thanks to me, they did get to visit a real pumpkin patch, too. A

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Month sixteen

Mary Virginia is sixteen months old. If you’re a careful reader you might have noticed that I didn’t write a fifteen-month update. I’ve been late with updates before, but I’ve never completely skipped one. I’ve justified it, though. After all, we’ve been busy, I spent most of last month recovering from summer travel. Most importantly, Mary Virginia is my

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Semantics

David was sitting on my lap reading books, and he started to flop around and get rough like toddlers do, so I asked him to stop… Me: David, please don’t jump on Mommy. David: Why? Me: Because that hurts Mommy. I’m not wild like you, I’m old. He stops and moves on to something else…a few

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Bunk mates

There are times as a parent when you feel like you’re the first parents to ever do something, even though you know it’s not true. Tom and I weren’t the first people to have two children, but when Mary Virginia was born, the waters were so dark and uncharted, that it felt like it. Maybe we weren’t the first

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Also three years old

David is three, which means this blog is three, too. Just a few days after he was born, in the late morning while he was snoozing beside me in bed I wrote the first post. That’s not entirely true. Tom started it months earlier. He created the URL and wrote the first eight posts chronicling our Fifty

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