All posts by oursweetsimplelife

Finally, a news story with a happy ending

Having started my college career in broadcast journalism, I have a natural interest in the news. I like to know what’s going on in the world around me.

Maybe it’s just the magnification of social media, but the news has been extremely difficult to read and watch lately. Or perhaps it’s pregnancy hormones… Regardless, there is no denying the hate, sadness, and tragedy that riddle the local and global headlines day after day.

Which is why when I came across this news story headline, I skipped over it several times: Father Refuses to Walk Daughter Down the Aisle. But when I kept seeing some of my normal Facebook friends “liking” it (I know, obviously credible, right?), my curiosity got the best of me.

If you’re in need of a little positivity or reassurance that happy endings can make news stories, too, please take 3 minutes of your day to watch this video. It’s truly a beautiful story.

God bless this family and the amazing medical staff who care for their daughter.


Party of 4

I couldn’t be more excited and privileged to share that Brian, Bridget, and I are expecting an addition to our family this January.

In early May, we were blessed to learn we were pregnant with baby #2. And just last week, we found out that our baby is a BOY!

Although we are genuinely just hopeful for a healthy, growing baby, we are excited to experience raising a boy. More so, we are looking forward to expanding our family, and Bridget couldn’t be more thrilled (at least for now) to be a big sister. And I have a feeling she’s going to be a very good one.


The perfect summer weekend

The weather this summer has been average at best, and between summer events, vacation, and a work trip, we hadn’t had much time to enjoy summer in our neck of the woods until this weekend.

Friday night we enjoyed a picnic at the park overlooking the pond. We fed the ducks, and I even participated (yay me!), until the ducks came up on land, of course, at which time I made my way back to observe. With plenty of hiking trails and a walking path that spans the perimeter of the pond, we enjoyed a beautiful summer evening outside.

Saturday morning Brian had his final session of this summer’s MBA class, so it was just little B and me. We spent the morning at the library doing art and crafts and picking out this week’s selection of books. If you know me, you know that I love libraries for personal and professional reasons, so Bridget’s and my conversation as we were leaving was priceless. I had checked out our books on the self-checkout machine overlooking the children’s area while she played with the train set. As we were leaving, and walked past the checkout counter, Bridget looked up at me and said, “We not pay, Mommy?” No, Bridget, we don’t have to pay…one of the many reasons your library card is the most important card in your wallet.

Saturday evening, thanks to my Mom, Brian and I enjoyed our first date out in a very long time. We had dinner at my favorite local restaurant, House of Hunan, in Medina (my mouth is watering as I write this thinking about their General Tso’s Chicken….yum!). We then went back and forth a hundred times before we settled on my movie selection, The Fault in Our Stars. If you check out my reading history, you’ll be able to quickly tell that I like sad books. I don’t know why, but I do. I also enjoy book-to-movie adaptations so this was right up my alley. At least I thought. The only thing sadder than reading a sad book is seeing it play out in front of you. The movie was good, but probably not the best choice for our first date out in a while. Needless to say, I owe Brian and will let him pick the next few to make up for our wonderful evening turned terribly depressing.

Sunday morning was all about summer. We spent the morning at the Hinckley Lake beach, which has a beautiful view of the Reservation. We then headed to the Ledge Lake Pool which overlooks the lake. The water depth is perfect for Bridget because she can touch, so we had so much fun playing, and she was out like a light as soon as we got in the car.

As you can gather from the title of my blog, and every post I write, we’re a simple family that enjoys simple things. And there’s nothing simpler and more enjoyable than spending a summer weekend with my two B’s.

I hope you’re all enjoying summer!




Bridget-isms, 2 years

You know that saying, “It just keeps getting better and better?” That’s how I feel about life as Bridget’s mom. It was no secret for anyone who had ears and spent time around us when Bridget was a baby that she cried. A lot. For any reason. From the moments even before she entered this world, she’s shown that she’s as stubborn as a mule. But, she also has such a sweet and loving nature to her, above all, and it continues to shine through as she grows up.

Two has been good to us so far, and brought lots of laughter, hugs, and everyday moments that I never want to forget. Here is a random selection of recent Bridget-isms:

For an unknown reason, she calls the car air conditioner a microwave, so when we get in a hot car, she says, “Turn on the wave.” As much as I want to correct her so she doesn’t go around telling people we put her in the microwave, it’s just too cute and I want to hold onto it a little bit longer until it’s totally unacceptable for a child of her age to say such a thing. I’ve learned that this is not uncommon for any girl under the age of 10, but since Bridget hasn’t shown much interest in TV or movies to date, this is a first for us. She’s always asking to watch it, singing “Let it Go” horribly out of tune, and she absolutely adores her Frozen blanket that we bought on vacation. In fact, she carries around two quarters and a nickel she found in the cup holder of my car, and when I asked her what she’s going to do with her riches, she answers, “buy mommy and daddy a Frozen blanket.” Melt my heart, kid.

Bridget is a big fan of taking her Flintstone’s “Witamins.” It’s the highlight of her mornings, and if I didn’t have a good memory, she’d try and sneak in a few more throughout the day.

If you ask her to do something or go somewhere, there’s a 99% chance that she will respond in either of the following ways: “two minutes,” or “soon though.” These must be pick-ups from daycare, and occasionally I find them irritating, but most of time, they just make me smile.

She’s officially in her second session of dance class and could not be more excited. Sometimes we are lucky enough to see her dance moves. And for another unknown reason, music is called “gobble,” so if she doesn’t like the song of choice, she’ll ask us to find another gobble. It’s true: kids say the darnedest things.

Bubbles and sidewalk chalk are summertime activity favorites. We are hard pressed to make it through the garage without a quick pit stop to draw a circle.

Our “I love you” exchanges are my favorite. For instance, this morning when hugging goodbye for work:

“I love you so so much, Mommy.”
“I love you more, Bridget bear.”
“I love you most.”

She’s still quite the collector, from rocks, coins, and sea shells, to sticks, mulch, and flowers (including the few good ones I haven’t yet killed in my plants). It’s been her thing since she was a baby. I wonder what she’ll collect in her older days?

Puzzle games on my phone are a treat we allow every now and then. She can’t get enough…and so I see where the techno-battle begins.

We just recently returned from family vacation. There were enough memories made for its own post, but I’ll share one of the funnier ones. At the water park, just before lunchtime, Bridget was in the midst of a meltdown. We were heading to lunch with the family and Bridget’s BFF, her cousin, Morgan, was out of sight. When Bridget asked where she was, through sobs, she said, “I wanna eat Morgan.” She’s still learning to put those sentences together, and sometimes misses those key words.

Here are some pictures from summer:






Bridget is 2!

A couple days late, but…

Bridget is two! In her words, “only two.”

I’m biased, obviously, but Brian and I hit the jackpot with this little gal. She’s funny, sweet, smart, ornery, and stubborn. It’s hard to believe she’s now officially a toddler. I’ll always think of her as my little babe.

Happy birthday, Bridget bear!


A few of my favorite things

When I started this blog almost two years ago, I wasn’t sure what would come of it. More than 100 posts later, none of my posts are on the list of top pins and they certainly aren’t going viral on Facebook. But what it has provided me is so much more: a real-time collection of priceless memories and experiences of our family of three…and hopefully, one day, a glimpse of her life for Bridget through my eyes.

So, here are a few of my favorite Bridget-isms from recent months.

– Bridget can count on her own to 15 on most days. She usually forgets the number 4 and overemphasizes the number 11. My favorite number that she says is 5. I wish this blog had audio recording integrated so you could hear it. Adorable!

– She went underwater for the first time last weekend at swim class. Luckily she was in the water with her much-braver parent who had the guts to try it. She came up from the water with the biggest smile on her face. And then I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

– We recently introduced the timeout corner of our house. It’s often used when Bridget hits or kicks. She’s not only learned what actions result in timeout, but she so graciously volunteers herself to go there when she feels she misbehaves. I am still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, my inner self chuckles while my stern face remains in tact on the outside.

– She loves yard work. We’ve tried to sneak in a few yard chores between the cold and rainy days and Bridget loves helping. “Bridgey pick up leaves.”

– Warm weather cannot get here and stay soon enough. We live within a 5-minute walk to a park, so we’ve spent every evening above 60 degrees sliding, climbing, and swinging. It’s all fun and games until it’s time to leave, which then requires us to pull out every bribe we can think of to get her home.

– We visit the library every couple weeks to get new “libaby” books. Again, insert adorable audio recording here.

– I am awaken every morning by a cheerful “oh, Mommmmmmmmy”. While I don’t particularly like the time of the wake up calls, I’ll take her as my alarm any day.

– I love singing, and think I sound decent when I do it. I am dead wrong and you can ask anyone who has spent time with me. I can’t carry a tune in a basket. However, Bridget knows no different and has always seemed to like when I sing to her. Until recently. My current jam is Eric Church’s Give me back my hometown. While singing it to Bridget the other day, she sweetly grabbed me around the neck, looked straight into my eyes and said so innocently, “mommy, please stop singing.” Ouch.

Don’t be mistaken. There are plenty of tantrums and meltdowns in-between these sweet moments. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine. But something tells me I have a few more years before I’m at risk of forgetting about those.

Water baby in the making

Bridget’s first swim class was yesterday. I was excited to get her in the water, but a little nervous since she wasn’t so fond of it last summer. I’m not a huge fan of swimming myself, and my repertoire includes doggy paddling and, well, not much else. So, although I secretly hope she’ll follow in my volleyball footsteps, it’s important to me that she experiences a little of everything and finds something she enjoys.

The first 10 minutes were a little shaky. She clung to Brian’s neck like she was holding on for dear life. But once the group’s instructor started singing The Wheels on the Bus, she loosened up, and kicked and splashed, and waved up to her fan club like the show pony she is.

All in all, the first swim class in the books was a success. I’ll think we’ll go back again next week.


HIMYM sound-off

Last night was the highly-anticipated series finale of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother; the final episode of nine seasons; when we finally got to see how Ted met the Mother, and learn her name; and the end of the story of the cast’s longtime friendship. Even though the final season was average at best, I was giddy all day yesterday waiting for eight o’clock.

And then in 60 minutes, that giddiness was gone. As Robin so eloquently said often during the show, “What the damn hell?

Here is your forewarning: This post contains spoilers. Every media outlet, social network site, and fan blogger has sounded off on the finale. I have no ground-breaking conclusion or unique perspective to offer. I’m just a fan of the show, who was incredibly disappointed and let down at last night’s finale, and is seeking written therapeutic release so I can move on with my life. As my husband so kindly reminded me last night and this morning, “It’s a TV show. They aren’t real people. Get it together, Shannon.”


I always try to focus on the positive, so I’ll lead with that.

Tracy McConnel, aka, the Mother was exactly who I pictured Ted would marry. She was sweet, funny, quirky, and beautiful. They cast well for her important, but minimal, role.

Lily and Marshall lived happily ever after as we expected they would. No surprises, but a satisfying wrap-up to their beloved love story.

We finally saw Barney’s soft side when he held his daughter for the first time and it was legen…….wait for it……dary. Simply beautiful, and as someone who gets to witness a father’s love for his daughter every day, it really pulled on the heart strings.

And now for the moments that tarnished nine years of a good thing:

They had us watch an entire season that spanned the wedding weekend of Barney and Robin just to have them get divorced 20 minutes into the final episode (3 years in “real-life”). What a waste of a final season.

We waited nine years to meet the Mother and they gave us a rushed 10 minutes of how they met? Nine years for 10 minutes. Seriously?

We’re supposed to believe that Ted allowed them to date for seven years and have two kids together before getting married? Not a chance.

Although it was foreshadowed all season, I still can’t believe we waited nine years to meet the Mother only to learn that she got sick and died shortly after? For a comedy, this story twist just didn’t fit.

And finally, above all, I can’t get over the final two scenes where Ted’s kids call him out for liking Aunt Robin and encourage him to go after her…and then he does. What the damn hell? This made it seem like Robin was his true love all along and the Mother was second best. Not cool, HIMYM producers. Not cool. I was never on the Ted & Robin bandwagon and this episode certainly didn’t change that.

I am a sucker for happy endings, so my ideal final scene would have been this: Turn the camera back on Ted, and as he says, “And kids, that’s how I met your mother,” have Tracy enter stage left. And Ted would finally have gotten what we have been hoping for him to all along.

But then again, happy endings don’t produce viral media coverage and a million tweets, I suppose.

Fellow HIMYM fans, what are your thoughts?


A parenthood milestone for me

I crossed a parenthood milestone this past weekend. I watched Disney’s Frozen…and sincerely enjoyed it.

Now I grew up watching Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. My favorite movie was The Fugitive, starring the dreamy Tommy Lee Jones. Animated movies were just not my thing (or maybe more so that they weren’t my mom’s thing). I watched a few here and there—Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Flintstones, and Beauty and the Beast—but that was about it.

So when Brian and I were pregnant with Bridget, we often chatted in wonderment about what we would be like as parents. Who would teach little Bean to swim, who would be the disciplinarian (we are still figuring this one out), and, of course, who would take Bridget to the movies?

Based on the fact that I hadn’t made it through an animated film since I was a small child, the conclusion was that Brian and Bridget had a lot of movie dates ahead of them. Until Frozen came along that is.

It is adorable, funny, happy, sad, and all in all, a great story. I realize these qualities are probably not unique to kids’ movies, but kids’ movies are new to me. And from what I can tell from my Facebook feed, I’m not the only adult that fell in love with this movie.

Thank you, Disney, for introducing me to the other side. Now I can look forward to my future Saturday afternoons with Bridget under one arm and popcorn in my other.

I love you too, Bridget bear

In my time as a mom, I have experienced amazing moments: the first time I held Bridget in my arms, rocked her to sleep, watched her roll over, crawl, and take her first steps. And then there’s the long hug to welcome me when I pick her up from daycare, the conversations on our drive home when she tells me all about her day and we giggle even though neither of us know what she’s saying, and reading her favorite stories before bedtime. There’s the throw-her-head-back laughter when I play “Santa” with bubbles at bath time, or watching her and Daddy knuckle-bump and simultaneously say “boom”. There’s been so many amazing moments.

But perhaps my most favorite is hearing Bridget’s new(ish) four word sentence: “I love you, Mommy,” “I love you, Daddy,” “I love you, puppy.” These words echo through our house, over and over again, and it generates an instant smile on my face every time.

Early motherhood is rewarding in subtle ways. 3 AM wake up calls don’t scream “thank you”. Dirty diapers can feel like a tiresome routine. And the regular hunt for something anything that a picky toddler will eat can be challenging. But then there are these amazing moments that bring you back to reality. The reality that motherhood is a blessing; a privilege; an opportunity to do something meaningful, with greater purpose than your own.

And there’s nothing more rewarding than that high-pitched “I love you, Mommy.”


Bridget trying on my boots. Don’t worry, she didn’t get far in them.