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  • Welcome to Counting My Kisses!

    Counting My Kisses is all about finding that silver lining, even on our most frustrating days. It’s about cherishing my little girls and enjoying being married to my best friend. It’s about taking a minute to stop & remember what’s really important in life—and to discover that each & every experience gives us something to be thankful for.

    I’m a daughter, sister, friend, writer, and most importantly these days, a wife & mother. My life is full of fun chaotic moments, and this blog helps me to capture the laughter and love that fills our house every day.

    Thanks for joining me on this adventure!

Happy day.

Every morning, I’m greeted by H-Berry’s sunny smile and her sweet, wispy blonde hair as I walk into her room.


I’m also touched by her words:

Hi, Mommy! It’s a happy day!!!


A happy day.

It’s how our two-and-a-half-year-old views the start of each brand-new day: happy.

A chance to be happy.

A chance to do happy.

A chance to embrace happy.


Today, I’m taking her words to heart.

It’s going to be a happy day.


Because I’m choosing to let go of my {insanely all-consuming} Mommy Guilt over an incident at the zoo yesterday.

I’m choosing to not panic that we only have two weeks of summer vacation left before Little O starts school at the BIG school {hold me. {But I’m not panicking, really}}.


I’m choosing to pray for more patience. For strength to be the momma I want to be. For the grace to show my children how to be good, kind-hearted, lovely people. Leading by example has never been so important.


I’m choosing to embrace the fact that I have so many more things to learn about being a parent. And that just when I feel like I might possibly have my feet under me, the world shifts. And shifts. And shifts a little more.

I’m choosing to accept that it has been a rough few weeks. Growing pains for both of our girls. And growing pains for the Hubs & I as we regroup & address behavior issues in our children that have reappeared out of nowhere.


And I’m choosing to not be so hard on myself {this one was reinforced by my mom last night {see: insanely all-consuming Mommy Guilt above}}. Today I’m sticking with the mantra I’m doing the best I can~ and I’m doing it with love.


Let’s all have a happy day, shall we? And a happy weekend to boot!

Counting My Kisses: A big thanks to the H-Berry for the sweet, innocent reminder that every single day can be happy. I just need to let it be happy & get out of my own head sometimes. I’m ready to embrace the day & make it a happy one~ hope you are too, friends!

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To my little red Corolla, with love.

To my little 2005 Toyota Corolla:


We’ve come a long way, baby.

117,000 miles, to be exact.


You were~ and still are~ cute & zippy. A lovely shade of Fiesta Red. Tiny but powerful~ and you know how to get the job done. I’ve always thought we were kindred spirits in that sense.


You were my very first post-college/Officially a Grown Up With a Paycheck purchase. My dad & the Hubs {who was still The Boyfriend at that point} negotiated the heck out of that car deal. I waited anxiously for the dust to settle, all parties to {finally} agree on a price & happily signed my name a few dozen times on the paperwork.

The feeling when I finally held those car keys in my hands? Priceless.

I felt invincible. Proud. Powerful. Independent. And a tiny bit terrified {what do you mean I own a brand new car?!}.


You & I had some great times, little Corolla. The Hubs & I were still long-distance right after I bought you, so we hit the road together every other weekend to visit him.

You, steady & sporty, barreling down the highway with confidence. Me, bubbling over with happiness on the drive to the Hubs; heartsick & sure of only one thing on our long drives back home: this distance was temporary. Our love was~ and is~ forever.


You were right there with me as I packed up my comfortable home life and made the 400 mile leap of faith to be closer to the Hubs.


You were right there with me as I started a career as a younger PR/Marketing professional in a brand-new city. That meant you dealt with my nerves some mornings, my enthusiasm a lot of evenings, and my penchant for leaving only the exact amount of time I needed to get to work on time {with absolutely zero buffer}.


You were right there when the Hubs proposed. You were with us as we made countless trips back & forth to my hometown to plan the wedding of our dreams, and to begin our life together as husband + wife.


You were right there in our newlywed days. Our pick-up-and-go days. Our lets-explore-town or lets-go-out-with-our-friends or let’s-swing-by-Home-Depot-and-see-what-we-find days.


You were also right there when we decided to accept a job promotion for the Hubs & move 200 miles to his hometown. You quietly listened to my endless sobs as we drove away from the house we had bought together~ the house I had imagined we’d bring our children home to & live for years as a family. You steadily headed to our new home & somehow gave me comfort that this was the right move for us, for our family, for our future {it was}.


You took the Hubs & I to our first ultrasound. The one where we saw Little O’s tiny flickering heartbeat and realized, we’re going to be parents!

You have driven us to H-Berry & Baby Nug’s very first ultrasounds too. Lots of nerves on the way there~ and lots of joy, thankfulness & ear-splitting-grins on the way back.


It has been a long road & a great road. For the past few years, your sole responsibility has been getting the Hubs to & from work safely. Some days that was probably easier than others~ but you delivered every time. Thank you. He’s my love + my partner in life, and you helping to keep him safe over the years has not gone unnoticed. Or unappreciated.


It makes me sad that it’s time to say goodbye, old friend. You’ve been so good to our little family & I am so appreciative of the nine great years we’ve had together.

It’s time for you to go make someone else happy. To keep them & their loves safe. To help them jump-start their grown-up life and face their dreams. And to help give them a piece of confidence to achieve those dreams~ just like you were there every step of the way when I achieved mine.


Goodbye, sweet Corolla.

Thanks for the memories. 

And just know that you’ll always be more than just my first car. You’re a friend. A gem. And I wish you nothing but the best in your many years ahead.

Counting My Kisses: No I’m not crying! Okay, maybe a little {I’m sure being 8 months pregnant isn’t helping anything!}. We bought a new car over the weekend, since Baby Nug has nowhere to sit with our current Honda CRV car seat setup. And while I love love LOVE our big new family car, it was really hard to say goodbye to my little red Corolla. Sometimes a car is just a car…but sometimes, it’s so much more. And my Corolla was so, so much more to me. Thanks for the memories, Corolla. You’ll always hold a special place in my heart!

Linking today’s post up with the fabulous Shell at Things I Can’t Say.

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So many memories all tied up in that car!

But this marks a new era in your life- a very exciting one. :)


I know how you feel! I felt the same way about my first Volvo. Over Christmas break this year a college student failed to stop at a red light and crashed into me and totaled it. It had about 117,000 miles on it too but ran like a charm. If it weren’t totaled I would still be driving it. ( and by the way, I think I may have shed some tears over it…haha)

I’ve recently discovered your blog and have become a new reader!


Hello, Monday! {fun with the girls}

Hello, friends!

And helloooo, Monday!


If you stopped by late last week & had an impossible time loading the blog, many apologies. Apparently my hosting server went down & had issues getting back online for an ENTIRE day. Since I have no idea how to even contact them, I rode it out & everything appears to be running on full cylinders now. Hooray!


It’s been a busy few weeks around here, and I’m excited to share what we’ve been up to! But first…let’s welcome the new week, shall we?



to a fun Friday night at the county fair. Woo for farm animals + family time! 


to getting a better look at the animals {and giving Mommy a small heart attack in the process}. 


to the cutest little cow couple I’ve ever seen. I LOVE that they were snuggling. 


to “driving” around John Deere tractors! The girls pretty much acted like it was a playground of tractors to climb all over. 


to our honey bunny tractor girls! Love them so much {even if they do refuse to look at the camera these days. Lol}. 


to my loves. Pictures like this make my heart bubble over with happiness. 


to corndogs at the fair! {of course!}. And yes, H-Berry is licking hers. Nom nom. 


to one of those time-needs-to-slow-down-you-both-look-WAY-too-old pictures. Oh, my heart!


to dancing around & helping Daddy wash the car {in 60-degree weather}. H-Berry has her groove on! 


to sisters. Two peas in a pod. And the very best of friends. Love love love their connection. 


to soapy fun with Daddy! I was freezing just watching them, but they LOVED it! 


to warming up on the swingset post car-wash. 


to brave H-Berry & her new love of getting pushed on the swing. Like a big girl. Don’t mind me as I shed a tear or two over how BIG my baby is getting! 

And hello…

to the close of an awesome weekend and the start of a brand-new fabulous week! I love it when our summer evenings end like this~ quiet. Beautiful. And so very thankful. 


What are you welcoming this week, friends?! Share in the comments section & have a GREAT day!

Counting My Kisses: It wasn’t a weekend of crazy events or huge plans~ but it was a really nice weekend of family time, getting BIG things crossed off of our To Do list {more on that later this week!} and appreciating the beauty of this cooler-than-normal-yet-still-lovely weather. I’m starting this week off with a full heart of gratitude {and a very big belly~ 32 weeks!}. Here’s to a fresh start & a great new week ahead!

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The sweet spot of summer

Hello, friends!

Is it really the last day of July?! How can that be??


July means long days of playing outside with friends.

Sticky popsicle fingers. Pooltime and running through the sprinkler and trips to the beach. Later-than-normal bedtimes because all of the neighborhood kids are in a heated game of kickball. Bubbles and sidewalk chalk and bike rides.

July means summer.


Of course, August is still summer too~ but a different shade of summer.

Nights getting shorter as we start to get back into a “routine.” School supplies and meeting new teachers. Shopping trips to the mall for fall wardrobes. The end of August is always a little bittersweet for me, as we say goodbye to another amazing summer and turn our focus to the cooler, crisper, more structured days of fall.


And this September, our family is growing by two sweet little baby feet. It’s exciting & we’re over the moon happy to welcome Baby Nug into our lives & into our family.

While I’m looking forward to this big event with a fully thankful & happy heart, the upcoming change for our family is making me want to hold on to every last moment of this summer. I know things will be different~ in a good way!~ so very soon. Instead of impatiently waiting for that change to happen, I’m hanging on to the ride of right now~ and enjoying it.


My bloggy friend shared this article about The Sweet Spot over the weekend, and I’ve been mulling it over ever since {it’s a GREAT read, I highly recommend!}. Our children are younger than the author’s, and we’re still in the midst of temper tantrums, potty training & I-want-to-play-with-that-toy squabbles ~ not exactly the sweet spot the author is talking about.

But…I think we’re in a sweet spot of our own. The quiet calm before the excitement & adventure of the fall. The joy of having two walking, talking, hilariously expressive daughters that fill our days & our nights with endless entertainment. The knowledge that this time with them as littles is going entirely too fast~ so we need to hold on and enjoy.

We’ve had a lot of sweet spots this summer~ one of my very favorites being a week-long family vacay at the beach. A chance for us to rest, regroup & reconnect as a family. It was so sweet, in fact, that we extended our trip an extra day because we weren’t ready to leave yet. The sweet spot will do that to you. 

What’s your sweet spot of summer? Share in the comments section & have a GREAT day!

Counting My Kisses: I’m still in a bit of shock that it’s almost August. But that means we still have weeks of summer left, which I’m so thankful for! Hope your week is going swimmingly, friends. I can’t wait to hear all about your own sweet spot of summer!

Linking up with Pour Your Heart Out today!

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Lazier, slower paced days of no homework are me sweet spot.


We are in that sweet spot too and I have no desire for it to end!

That is a gorgeous family photo!


A lesson from the four-year-old.

Happy Friday, friends!

Oohhhhh…it has been a week of growing pains for this momma’s heart.


In short:  Little O has blown us away this week. And my heart is still recovering.

Monday morning, we pulled into our town’s soccer fields & I looked for all of the other four-year-olds for the “starter” soccer camper we  had enrolled her in {at her request}. I saw a whole lot of older kids…but no other four-year-old girls.

It didn’t bother Little O one bit. She hopped out of the car, smiled broadly as I checked her in & introduced her to the coaches, and jumped right in to a warm-up passing game. I nervously sat on a picnic bench texting Hubs: she’s the littlest one here. Do I stay? Should I pull her out? 

Before he could reply, the whistle blew & camp started. Little O gave me a hug & a kiss and then ran off to the field.

As I walked back to our car, the panic was overwhelming me. Surely I couldn’t leave our four year old at a camp with all older kids for three hours?! H-Berry & I hung out in the car and watched…and watched…and watched.

I waited for tears. I waited for her to look for our car. I waited for her to give some tiny I’m-in-over-my-head-come-get-me-Mommy indication~ because I wanted to be RIGHT there to swoop her up.

It never came. 

She was laughing & having fun & learning. The older kids were giving her piggyback rides in line & calling her The Mascot. She was fine. She was better than fine~ she was good.

So after watching for almost an hour, I slowlllly drove away, a lump in my throat & tears in my eyes. I caught her eye as we drove past the field, and she waved at me {cue my tears starting to actually fall}. I may or may not have gone back an hour later…but she was still laughing, having fun, doing great.


Kids sure can blow you away, can’t they?


Today is her last day of camp. She has rocked it all week & we haven’t seen tears once. She has grown a lot this week being around bigger kids~ and I think she has even learned a few new things about soccer, too.

As for me? I’ve come to accept that each drop-off is still impossibly hard, but the smile on her face as she hugs me & waves goodbye is good. It’s really, really good. She’s ready for this and she’s ready to start at her big-girl school next month~ it’s just me that isn’t ready.

Yes, you can Little O. And my heart couldn’t be prouder.

Counting My Kisses: Our four-year-old taught me an important lesson this week: I need to give my children a chance to surprise me, to rise to the occasion and to succeed in situations that I can’t hand-pick for them. Oh it’s tough on the heart~ but it feels good in my soul that she has the confidence to do this. Thanks for the valuable lesson, sweet girl. And we couldn’t be happier that you’ve loved this soccer camp adventure so much!

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I may have teared up a bit just reading that!! She is looking so old too!! I cannot imagine what you are going through as your heart grows up and grows wings!


Aww!! This made me tear up, too! Darn pregnancy hormones! ;)



Ohhhh…this made me cry (and I can’t use the preggo excuse)! Such a sweet, maturing little girl. It’s so hard as parents to know when to let them fly on their own. I think it’s always harder on us than it is on them. It’s bittersweet watching them be okay without us.


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