Before we scheduled our trip, I made the mistake of asking people about their experience with @legolandflorida. {Hosted} I was told that it was small and more fun for toddlers. They said my 10 and 14 year old wouldn't really enjoy it. Even though Falynn was ecstatic about it, I was honestly expecting to be disappointed. I will be the first to admit that I was VERY wrong. We all loved it! There was something for each of us to enjoy and all three of my girls can't wait to go back! Our first trip to Legoland will definitely not be our last. Today on the blog, I’m talking about why we loved it even more than Disney! You can read all about it by clicking the link in our bio or swiping up in stories. .
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Before we scheduled our trip,...

Imagine being in your home, taking care of your baby and suddenly being ordered to leave. Imagine being told you could take only one small bag and everything else would be seized. Imagine being packed into a cattle car for days with no food or water or even room to move. Just a bucket in the corner, to be used as a bathroom and a tiny window for ventilation. Imagine people dying on that cattle car, right next to you. Imagine arriving at a concentration camp and immediately having your baby torn from your arms. Imagine having a number tattooed on your arm, to be used as your “identification”. Imagine finding out your Mother, husband and baby were killed for no reason at all,  aside from the fact that they were Jewish. No, this isn’t fiction. This is what it was like for my Auntie Rose and millions of other Jews during the Holocaust. Today on the blog, I’m talking about how it affected my family, both the survivors and those that were taken from us because they were too young, too old, too sick or too weak to work. January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Let’s use this day as a day to reflect on what happened, and remind ourselves that people are people, regardless of their religion, race, or beliefs and we should all treat each other with respect. Never again. .
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Imagine being in your home,...

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After yearsssssss of begging us...

In 2017, tired of my debilitating anxiety disorder, I went to see a new doctor. She was sure my anxiety was the result of a medical condition. After routine bloodwork, I was told I had a vitamin D deficiency. But that’s it. I left without any more answers than I walked in with. It wasn’t until 2 years later when my friend DM’ed me to tell me that she and a friend (who both suffer from anxiety) had the same results, that I began thinking there must be a connection between anxiety and vitamin D deficiency. Today on the blog, I’m sharing why some studies show that a lack of vitamin D could be linked to anxiety and depression. I think what I found will surprise you. If you suffer from anxiety and/or depression, have you ever been told you’re vitamin d deficient? .
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Art: @kobrastreetart .
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AD: January 20th is National Cheese Day! Do you have the perfect cheesy meal planned yet? Our family will be eating these incredible homemade enchiladas, filled and topped with the best cheese, @trulygrassfed Naturally Aged Cheddar! YUM! This cheese comes from the farms of Ireland, aged for 6+ months to a perfectly smooth and creamy consistency. It's truly delicious. Truly Grass Fed products are always non-GMO, growth hormone rBST-free, antibiotic free, 95% grass fed and imported from Ireland. When you choose Truly, you can be assured you're choosing products that adhere to the highest standards of nutrition, flavor and quality. Their dairy is minimally processed and as close to nature as it gets. BTW, their butter is the best we've ever tasted! #PairsWithYou #ChooseTruly https://lnk2.io/wSpWDmQ .
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Let’s talk about family vacations... #gifted I struggled for years with the amount of time it took to pack up to go back home. There were always dirty clothes all over the floor and while I tried to pack it all into those hotel provided plastic laundry bags, 1) they were plastic and we are trying our best to do better for our planet and 2) they rip so easily, so we often wound up with dirty clothes spilling out in the car (yuck). A couple of months ago, I was watching a friend’s Instagram stories and she was talking about the @swoopbags she uses for her son’s toys. I immediately had an idea and knew I had to get one. 
On our last vacation, I opened up my large swoop bag and left it flat in the corner of our hotel room. We used it as our “laundry corner”. We instructed the kids (and ourselves) to drop our dirty laundry in the middle of the flattened Swoop bag. When it was time to pack up, I just swooped the bag, tied it and voila… it literally saved me all of the aggravation of finding and picking up all of the clothes and trying to find something to carry it all in. Don’t forget to check out the blog for more family travel hacks and a quick video on how I fit all 5 of our clothing into one small suitcase! I put the link in my bio! .
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Let’s talk about family vacations......

Anyone else super excited that today is National Dress Up Your Pet Day?! Elle will be going through a few wardrobe changes today. 🙈 What will your pet be wearing?
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As a family, we road trip quite a lot. It's a ton of fun, but also a lot of work (for me at least)! Over the years, I've found a variety of ways to save time and money and I'm finally sharing those family-friendly travel hacks with you on the blog today! Click on the link in my bio or swipe up in stories! How do you save time and money when you travel?
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Celebrating 14 Years – A Poem for Lucia

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Today is our oldest daughter, Lucia’s 14th birthday. So to celebrate, I thought I’d do something a little different than the regular, sappy blog post. Instead, I wrote a poem for our teenager.

Just over 12 hours of labor,
A misplaced epidural and 45 minutes of failed pushes;
My pregnant stomach had gotten so big,
Most people thought I’d deliver multiple tushes.

But out you came, a healthy eight pounds,
Beautiful thick black hair and blue eyes;
Today you turn fourteen,
And I realized how quickly time flies.

This year you’ll get your first job,
Next year you’ll learn to drive a car;
And I’m sure you’ll go through teenage phases,
Some fun, but most bizarre.

I’ll try to be your best friend,
It’ll probably drive you nuts;
Sometimes you’ll be grateful for me,
And other times you’ll hate my guts.

We’ve already been through a lot together,
Including 3 or 4 short-lived fishes;
And listening to daily requests,
From Dad to do the dishes.

But I’ll love you through the attitude,
The silent treatment and the eye rolls;
I was a teenage girl once too, my love,
And I know we can sometimes be a-holes.

Never stop growing your talents,
Keep on dreaming your dreams;
And remember that your future is so bright,
And nothing is ever as bad as it seems.

This year I want you to enjoy every moment,
Laugh, love and shine like a star;
Be the best version of yourself,
The amazing girl your Dad and I know you are.

Happy 14th birthday Lucia,
You’re beautiful, smart and incredibly loud;
And with every single day that goes by,
We couldn’t be any more proud.

Please join us in wishing our beautiful first born, Lucia a very happy 14th birthday by commenting below! You can even write a poem of your own for her, if you’d like. She’ll be reading them all!

close up of fourteen year old girl

A special poem for our oldest daughter, Lucia, to celebrate her fourteenth birthday and her second year as a teenager.

XOXO
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46 Comments
  • Zenda Lobdell
    September 23, 2019

    That is such a sweet poem and I’m sure it brought tears to her eyes!!

    Happy birthday Lucia, I hope you had a lovely birthday!!!

  • Ashley Rice
    September 19, 2019

    What a beautiful poem! I am sure she loved it!!

  • Catherine
    September 18, 2019

    This was so sweet and beautiful! Thank you for sharing and happy birthday to Lucia!
    Catherine recently posted Peppers & Orzo SoupMy Profile

  • Brianna S
    September 17, 2019

    Beautiful poem, Heather!! I hope she had the best day. She is gorgeous!!!

  • Danjay R.
    September 17, 2019

    Beautiful poem for a pretty daughter 🙂

  • Jasmine M
    September 17, 2019

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! This is so sweet! I really enjoyed this poem. It’s always interesting watching children grow up into adults and seeing them evolve.

  • Nadalie Bardo
    September 17, 2019

    Happy birthday! What a great age, my niece is the same and it’s a big year. So many things happen around this time. Driving, scary and exciting, am I right?

  • Lyosha
    September 17, 2019

    what a beautiful poem! 14 years old is magical age: so in between
    Lyosha recently posted Moscow Fashion SummitMy Profile

  • Chastity
    September 17, 2019

    Happy Birthday! The teenager years will always be unforgettable. Enjoy them and take plenty of photos of her journey.

  • Emily Fata
    September 17, 2019

    What a beautifully written poem. Happiest of birthdays to your eldest — may she have an amazing year ahead of her!

  • Romy Schorr
    September 17, 2019

    Happy Birthday to your daughter. Fourteen is such an age of learning new things about themselves. I love your poem idea for your daughter. She will be able to treasure it forever.
    Romy Schorr recently posted 10 Fabulous & Fierce Fashions from Cabi’s Fall 2019 CollectionMy Profile

  • Wren
    September 17, 2019

    That is so sweet! It is always enjoyable to watch them grow up and become people! <3
    Wren recently posted Some of You May Die…My Profile

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams
    September 17, 2019

    How beautiful. I loved reading this poem. I’m sure your daughter loved reading this on her birthday!
    WanderlustBeautyDreams recently posted Magnolia Streamside Resort | Poconos, PennsylvaniaMy Profile

  • Sharon
    September 17, 2019

    What a beautiful poem for your daughter. They grow up so quickly got to enjoy every moment.

  • Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
    September 17, 2019

    Happy birthday Lucia! What a lovely way to celebrate her birthday – lovely poem 🙂

  • Carolyn
    September 17, 2019

    So, so precious. Happy birthday, Lucia! You are beautiful and I hope you had a beautiful day!
    Carolyn recently posted Starting Your Morning Off Right With The Mr. Coffee At-Home Pour OverMy Profile

  • Lyanna Soria
    September 17, 2019

    Happy 14th Birthday to her! She looks amazing and hope that she had tons of fun during her birthday. That is so sweet of you, unique even, to make her a wonderful and beautifully written poem.

  • Monika
    September 17, 2019

    I literally cried a little.
    Such a moving poem….
    all the best to your beautiful family!

  • Kelly Martin
    September 17, 2019

    This is great Heather! Happy birthday to Lucia. Such a gorgeous name.

  • littlemisadvencha
    September 17, 2019

    this act is so sweet. your teenager is so lucky to have a very thoughtful mom like you. it’s not everyone who can express their love thru a poem. so classic!

  • Catalina
    September 17, 2019

    14 years! What a beautiful age and what a beautiful poem! The best gift ever! Happy birthday to your daughter!

  • Ruth I
    September 17, 2019

    This is the sweetest! Yes, she is so beautiful! Happy birthday to Lucia!

  • Toni
    September 17, 2019

    Aww..this is really sweet! Happy birthday to your lovely teen.

  • Liz Cochico
    September 17, 2019

    She is so pretty and I love her smile. This is a very sweet poem for her. Happy Birthday to her!
    Liz Cochico recently posted Pizza Express, The StrandMy Profile

  • Rachel
    September 17, 2019

    What a sweet poem! I am sure she will treasure this for a long time. Happy birthday!
    Rachel recently posted How To Handle The Tomboy StereotypeMy Profile

  • Subhashish Roy
    September 17, 2019

    What a beautiful poem. Summing up the last fourteen years so nicely. Wish Lucia a wonderful birthday. God bless her with lots of happiness.
    Subhashish Roy recently posted A day trip to MontenegroMy Profile

  • Shayla Marie
    September 16, 2019

    Awe! LOVE! I have a 14 year old too! So amazingly bittersweet. Tell her Happy Birthday, and she’s stunning!

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    September 16, 2019

    Heather,
    You’ve expressed so well, so much with love and remembrance of that day.
    Wow, GRL, your poem made me teary.

  • eli
    September 16, 2019

    Aww what a sweet poem. It must be so nice and bittersweet watching her grow up! So many memories made.

  • kita
    September 16, 2019

    Awww 14 is a special year. Mine turs 14 next year and I think its the beginning stages of that young adulthood life and I’m not ready lol

  • Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat.
    September 16, 2019

    Aww, how sweet! She really is beautiful! My girls are only 4 and 6 so it’s hard for me to imagine how it would feel to have a 14 year old.
    Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat. recently posted Books in Progress: What I’m Reading Right Now – September 2019My Profile

  • Claudia Krusch
    September 16, 2019

    Such a great way to celebrate your daughter! Beautiful poem! Love that you chose this way to celebrate her 14th birthday!
    Claudia Krusch recently posted Ways That Best Buy In-Home Service Can Help YouMy Profile

  • Romy Schorr
    September 16, 2019

    I just love her name…..Lucia! Your poem is so heartfelt and full of love for her. I loved every word! Happy birthday Lucia!
    Romy Schorr recently posted Menopause Awareness Month: Skincare That Transforms Estrogen Deficient SkinMy Profile

  • kumamonjeng
    September 16, 2019

    I have to say this is the best present for a kid, it is so powerful and makes the child so confident knowing there is a mom loving her that much. This is simply awesome and will be kept in the child’s memory forever!
    kumamonjeng recently posted Hello Kitty Town Malaysia At Puteri Harbour MalaysiaMy Profile

  • Jessie
    September 16, 2019

    Happy Birthday Lucia! 14 can be hard but it can also be the best year of your life. Enjoy it, it’s your only chance at being 14!

  • Tara Pittman
    September 16, 2019

    What a sweet poem. This is something that she can treasure for her whole life.

  • Liz Mays
    September 16, 2019

    Happy birthday! This is a really sweet poem. It sounds like she’s growing up to be an awesome person!

  • Lisa Joy Thompson
    September 16, 2019

    Happy birthday Lucia! What a sweet tribute you’ve written. This will be something she’ll be able to treasure for years to come.
    Lisa Joy Thompson recently posted Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls RecipeMy Profile

  • Brianne Tursi Manz
    September 16, 2019

    Lucia is a beautiful name for a beautiful daughter! Her smile is infectious and she sounds like an amazing young lady! Happy birthday to her!

  • Gustavo Castillo
    September 16, 2019

    Happy Birthday to my princess!!

  • Fiona Cambouropoulos
    September 16, 2019

    Happy birthday Lucia! What a beautiful poem for a beautiful girl.
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted DIY Teepee Making, Painting and Campfire CookingMy Profile

  • Lisa
    September 16, 2019

    This is so touching. I don’t yet have kids but I can imagine teens are more challenging to deal with!

  • Cristina Petrini
    September 16, 2019

    Much love. How much art and poetry. Very beautifull. Wishes!!!

  • Amy Battaglia
    September 16, 2019

    Happy 14th Birthday Lucia!! We hope that you have a super fabulous day!!
    Love,
    Amy, Pippy & LoLo

  • Emman Damian
    September 16, 2019

    Happy 14th birthday to you! I hope you grow smarter!
    Emman Damian recently posted Melon Macadamia Surprise RecipeMy Profile

  • Brandy Caldwell
    September 16, 2019

    Awe, that was an awesome poem! Happy 14!!

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