Whole Parenting Family

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig


Happy Easter! We’re back in the saddle here in Saint Paul after a whirlwind ten days on the East Coast. Overall, I’d say we traveled well. The kids had their moments of glory and moments of dolphin-like high-pitched protest screeches. You know. But the other adults & family we visited were amazing without any of those shrill sounds, surprisingly!

Find me over at Blessed is She this week, Fumbling Towards Grace, and The Fisk Files. Sorry I’ve been kinda absent. Getting back in the groove of life back home. 



She was my travel guru. Ready to prove her grandmotherly travel skills of shushing and soothing the baby, stern looks and sweet snuggles with the tantrum-filled toddler, along with hand-holding and whining-whispering the pre-k’er, she did it all.

No one can keep up with her pace of walking with this double stroller that saved our bacon. We could never have navigated the airports, parks, and long stretches of sidewalk walking without it. Good thing she remembered to bring it.

Tia KK.

tia kk

She is the ultimate auntie. Devoted to her nieces and nephews, she’s always ready to sing them a new song, play a freshly made-up game, or distract them from their deep distress over sharing. She saved all of us from even more crying my taking the saddest child in the room away to love them up. Cannot travel without her. Period.

Tia B.b

My oldest sister runs the computery stuff for a really amazing international film/show streaming web service (think better than Netflix) called Drama Fever and I’ll be partnering with them later this spring for something really special for you! She flew all the way from the West Coast to be with us for the baptism and family reunion. Somehow she survived the seven screaming children and led us in an 80’s dance party one night. Once the leader, always the leader 😉 She kept children happy at the long Easter mass with book reading and is always game for helping me babysit car nappers in the drive way!



He joined us on the latter half of our trip, but it was when is Baba coming? WHEN IS BABA COMING? I NEED HIM!! every blessed day until his arrival. Once he did show his mug, he wasn’t a disappointment. SweetPea has a daily dose of Baba that she needs to survive. Let’s just say it was a little testy until he arrived.

The New York relations.

new york

Their gorgeous glorious new house! Their businesses! Their culinary skills! Their park next door! Their sweet girls who wanted to share everything (and then rescind the invite, toddler-style, and then offer again) with their cousins! Molly told stories and the kids huddled in the bunk beds, awaiting the monster (Aron obliged), and the kids really fell in love with New York.

new york

They’ve asked to go back only three times since we got home. That’s three times an hour.

new york

I got a night out with my sister and our handsome men at Aron’s newest gastropub, The Folly, and a facial at Molly’s shoppe, Brooklyn Herborium. Pampered much?

new york

The Virginia crew.

Having a mini-family reunion while watching our nephew experience baptism on Easter Sunday? Doesn’t get better than that. My heart is most full when we are all together. Now that there are seven grandchildren, my parents couldn’t be happier or greedier for more! The house we all clamored into fit us comfortably, and if you’re ever in Virginia, this is where you need to book your vacation.


My brother’s in-laws are basically all of ours and we love them so fiercely!

We had a quick hello with dear friends and watched their stellar three year old race and explore with our kiddos. It was a mutual love affair involving piglets, paths through the woods, and chasing chickens.


The nights when all five of us siblings reconnected, playing an original family board game Molly & Aron designed, wrote, and built, eating my mom’s chocolate chip cookies, watching the babies stumble around like zombies because it was way past their bedtime but no one wanted to leave to nurse them down, those nights I’ll treasure up.


The months when we aren’t all together, and don’t get to really connect and talk, those are the hardest as a sibling in a family that’s fiercely close. And now that we get to watch our kids play & run roughshod over all of us our relationships are that much closer.


I shared pics on insta #wholeparentingeastcoast so you could drool over the food and giggle over the children. You know.

Can’t wait til the next family get together!!


This was Molly & me on our way out for an evening. Our first evening out in NYC since we started down this baby slide five years ago. Can you feel the thrill & teeth wetness?


  1. Caitlyn on April 9, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Lovely! And hubs with the baby in the sling? So crunchy meets urban. 😉

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 9, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Haha I love when he wears the baby!!!

  2. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany on April 10, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Looks like you had so much fun. Family time is the best!

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      It really really is!!!