He Likes It When I’m Clingy

First things first…

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Moving on…

Before The Hubby and I started dating, I was seeing the guy who live across the hall for a short time {I only ever dated three guys in my life. These two just happened to live on the same floor in college!}. When he broke up with me, The Hubby came to him the very next day to ask is he’d be cool with him asking me out.

My very-recent-ex was fine with this, but warned The Hubby that I was “clingy.”

“I like that about her,” said The Hubby.

I’m not sure when I first heard of this conversation, but at first I was offended. Clingy is not a good thing! But when The Hubby had a chance to explain, “clingy” to him meant a girl who enjoyed being with him and doing all kinds of things together and needed him, not in a desperate way, but in a “I don’t want to do this life with out you” kind of way.

We officially became a couple 14 years ago today in Dublin, Ireland while on a band trip to march in the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade. And now, even 14 years later, I’ve noticed The Hubby still likes it when I’m “clingy.”

He likes to feel needed. He appreciates knowing he is missed while he’s at work. He feels important to me when I make spending dedicated time with him a priority. And he likes when I am physically “clingy” as well – holding hands, cuddling up, and the like.

clingy

Sometimes I get in a groove of just doing things myself and forget we are a team. I don’t ask for help because I don’t want to burden him. This might work well for some marriages, but The Hubby loves helping me, especially with things he is more skilled at than I, i.e. organizing, planning, packing, fixing…I could go on! A day with the kids may have left me ready to curl up in a corner by myself, but he still loves it when I curl up with him, and when I remember to do that, it is even more lovely than when we would cuddle up for a movie 14 years ago.

Our dating anniversary today has me thinking back to all the things that drew us to each other in the first place. I reminded him this weekend of that day back in 2000 when I was first described as clingy. He said he still loves it, but it doesn’t happen often enough!

We may have 10+ years of marriage and 3 kids added to our couple resumé, but underneath all that, we’re still those two kids in love who couldn’t get enough of being together. And we still love so many of the same things about each other – they just often get forgotten in the busyness of raising a family! I’m recapturing that “clinginess” The Hubby loves so much and focusing on those things I’ve loved about him from day one as well!

 

What drew you to your spouse in the beginning? What drew them to you? Do you still value those things in each other?

 

Something neither of us had 14 years ago was a love for running! That photo above was taken this weekend when we both ran the Irishman – a 5 mile, 5K, and 1 mile race all in one day! The Hubby SMOKED it, finishing 15th overall with an average 6:40/mile pace {and he ran with a pulled muscle and a head cold}! Despite being slightly slower than last year overall, I set new PRs in the 5 mile and 1 mile this year! It was cold, windy, and there was even a little snow, but this race is always a fun challenge AND it’s all about the Irish, so I can’t help but love it! Anybody else run a St. Patty’s Day race this weekend?

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VITALITY in Marriage

We celebrated ten years of marriage last May. I still don’t have any expertise in the area of being a wife, but I do have ten years of experience, and this last year was one of the biggest years of revelation for me in this area.

I’m not writing a post full of marriage advice today, but a post full of my heart for where I want to grow as a wife this year. I loved The Hubby when we got married, but through three children and job changes and all the twists and turns of life, I didn’t imagine I could love him this much more. And I want to show him that love in the everyday, every day.

Vitality in Marriage

I’ve set goals and made resolutions about writing and motherhood and my time with God before, but I don’t know that I’ve ever really cast a vision for our marriage in this way. God gave me clear ways to add vitality and strength to our marriage this year:

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Be Present

The hours we are actually together just the two of us are very few. Those hours often get filled up with online time and distractions and then it’s time to sleep and we weren’t really THERE with each other. This is almost always on my end. I want to show him that I value our time together enough to put everything else away and BE PRESENT. Watching TV is one of our favorite things to do together, but I tend to multi-task during this time. This year, I want to treasure our time, even our moments watching TV as a couple, cuddling or talking instead of tweeting or working.

Flirt

Anyone want to give me lessons in this area? I’m kidding…mostly…but I really do want to be more intentional in flirting with my husband this year! It’s not that I don’t know what to do – I just need to act on it more! Flirting is fun and definitely adds spark to our marriage, so it is totally worth my attention in 2014! Plus, I think The Hubby is a hottie and he should hear that from me on a daily basis :)

Date Nights

Date nights take work and cost money, but I have never regretted a single date night we’ve taken. I just completely love spending time with The Hubby one-on-one away from everything else or even double dating with friends. In 2014, I want our date nights to be more frequent and I want to add some zest by trying new restaurants, doing more active dates, and just having fun being US. I put together a restaurant passport for our anniversary last year that lists lots of great restaurants in our area to try. I want to check off at least ten of those this year! Restaurant dates are our favorites because we love to eat and we love to talk for a long time after we eat!

Vitality in Marriage 1

Look AT Him, Not THROUGH Him

So, this could be an entire post in itself as it was one of biggest marriage revelations since having kids. Like most of you, when my husband comes home from work, I am often working on dinner and trying to keep kids from injuring themselves or one another. I see him when he comes home. We might give each other a quick peck. But I am usually looking through him to what needs to happen next.

In life as a mom and homemaker, there are ALWAYS things that need to happen next. And in my multi-tasking, ENFP brain, I have troubling focusing on the right here, right now. Even with The Hubby right in front of me, right across the table from me, right next to me on the bed, I spend far too much time looking THROUGH him to the things that seem urgent at the moment.

The truly urgent thing is my need to really look AT my husband. To appreciate him, to hear him, to see his needs and wants and dreams. I started to make this shift in December and I found even more love in my heart for him. I found him even more attractive. I saw more areas where I could be his helpmate and partner. This is life-changing, marriage-changing stuff for me, friends.

I also ASKED The Hubby how I could be a better wife this year. His answer was so simple and perfect and totally not overwhelming. Have you asked your spouse this question? It’s a great place to start.

I spent a lot of time praying for The Hubby in 2013 and that will continue, and I look forward to seeing how God blesses our marriage with this vision He has given!

What does a marriage full of vitality look like for you?

 

Read more about my goals for vitality…

The VITALITY Series

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Learning from Daddy

Toothbrushing is fascinating.

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What I Wore: Vegas Edition

Maybe you noticed things were a little quiet over here last weekend, but no worries – nothing’s wrong! We were just off celebrating our 10 year anniversary…

IN VEGAS!

Oh yes, we left the kids with Grandpa and Grandma and flew off to Las Vegas for four nights! We’re probably not your typical Vegas crowd – don’t drink, don’t gamble, in bed before midnight – but we went four years ago and discovered several reasons we liked going there to relax and reconnect.

  1. Flights and hotel are pretty cheap.
  2. We didn’t have to drive anywhere once we got there.
  3. It’s hot and we like to swim and lay by the pool – good combo.
  4. GREAT food.
  5. GREAT shows.

So we swam and ate and saw a Cirque du Soleil show and ate and went to a couple of movies and ate and worked out and had a fabulous time enjoying our time as a couple. I think these yearly getaways are one of the most important things we do for our marriage because we get to focus on only each other, act like we’re dating again, and remember why we love one another so much separate from the kiddos!

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was super fun to get dressed up everyday! So here’s my What I Wore Wednesday: Vegas Edition!

Vegas Red Dress Green MM

The Hubby picked out this CUTE dress from GAP Outlet a couple months ago! Totally love it – the pattern, the color, the cut – so fun!

Vegas Poolside Couple

This is how we spent much of our time in Vegas! I forgot a hat at home so I picked up this one at H&M on the Strip and snagged these fun sunglasses at Express! The hot guy is all mine :)

Vegas White Dress Collage

I picked up this white dress on clearance at Old Navy right before the trip! It was nice to wear white without worrying about the kids getting it dirty! I make enough messes on my own!

Vegas Bellagio Couple

Here we are at my favorite spot in Vegas – watching the Bellagio fountains! No, that’s not the Bellagio or the fountains in the background, but this is where we were viewing them and were able to grab someone to snap a picture of us that wasn’t a selfie! I got this black dress before our last Vegas trip for less than $10 on clearance at Kohl’s and it is still going strong!

Vegas Orange Dress

I think a little sparkle is a necessity in Vegas, even if I did wear this out to brunch! It may look fancy, but this clearance dress from Target was super comfy! And I just adored the color, especially with some fun gold jewelry and blingy flip flops! I think this whole outfit, including accessories, was from Target!

Now I’m thinking we might need a “What I ATE: Vegas Edition!”

Join the What I Wore fun at The Pleated Poppy today!

 

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A Dream Fulfilled Together

On Tuesdays, I’ve been writing about my God-sized dream, but there’s another dream that has been in the works here. Last Saturday, that dream was realized.

I’ve shared my running journey with you, but The Hubby has been on quite the running journey as well. In fact, he is the reason I started running at all.

The Beginning of the Dream

It all began in January of 2012. The Hubby started running and working out to be a better healthy example to his patients. He lost over 40 pounds in the process and discovered a love for running. Within a few months, he had run his first race – 10 miles – and a half=marathon less than two months later!

I was pregnant when he started running, but as soon as I was cleared to start exercising, I decided to give it a go. Running became something we both enjoyed and I worked my way through races, upping my distance slowly along the way.

We ran a half-marathon {my first} together in November and I would not have made it through that crazy course without him.

The Dream Grows

His running dream got a whole lot bigger after that – in fact, it doubled. He signed up for a marathon and got to work training. Marathon training is no joke, my friends. People should get a medal just for making it through training.

When race day arrived, anticipation was high. The boys and I had signs ready and spots picked out along the course to cheer him on. We yelled and screamed and caught the long sleeve shirt he threw at us at mile 6.5, and then cheered on several friends running that day at the same spot before we moved on.

And then he called. He should have still been running, so I was worried right away. He had turned his ankle at mile 9 and finished at the half. It was a major half PR for him, but it was still devastating. I was so proud of him, but I knew it hurt badly to see that dream slip away.

But God wasn’t finished with that dream.

I was all signed up to run my second half-marathon just two weeks later, and when The Hubby’s ankle was feeling better the day after the race, we decided he should register for the full marathon at the same event. He was still in training mode. Two weeks was just the perfect amount of time to try again.

We were blessed that my parents were willing and able to watch the boys so we could make this all happen. We dropped them off Friday afternoon and made our way up to Fargo!

The weather was stormy, which made me more nervous than The Hubby, but thankfully the storms moved out overnight and there was just a light drizzle when my race began. The full started 45 minutes after the half.

Although neither of us knew anyone along the route cheering us on, it was such a cool feeling to know we were both doing this at the same time. This race was my second half, but it was my first solo race, and knowing The Hubby was running twice as far as I was gave me a lot of strength when things got hard.

My first 7 miles were great – humid and warming up, but really fun. Fargo knows how to put on and support a race. The crowds were awesome, the course was flat, I was on a high…until mile 9. I had set three goals ahead of time, and I was still on track with two of them at that time, but the weather and my breathing forced me to adjust the last goal at that point.

I struggled through my last few miles, but I crossed the finish line with a new PR by over 22 minutes: 2:03:23!

And then I collapsed on a volunteer. It wasn’t pretty for a while after that – my lungs and the humidity had battled the whole race and I had given it everything I had and my body needed a little help to recover post-race. The medical volunteers were AMAZING. I am so grateful for their help and smiles and great attitudes.

But all I cared about was where The Hubby was and how his race was going. I am so thankful for friends and family who were able to update me on his progress when the map wouldn’t update on my phone. I said a prayer of thanks when he passed the halfway mark.

And then I waited. The finish line for all of us was in the FargoDome and the atmosphere inside was SO fun – a great distraction! When you see the running community together like that – people of all shapes and sizes and abilities but ALL runners – it is truly inspiring and emotional.

I knew The Hubby’s goal, but I also knew the weather had heated up considerably {anything over 60 makes it harder on runners and it was up to 75 at that point}. My best friend called me to say he had passed the 25 mile mark and I started crying. He was almost done.

The FargoDome had big screens up, two showing the runners as they came in from outside and two showing the finish line. My teary eyes were glued to the screen for any sign of him…

On the Screen blog

I snapped this picture of the screen and then pushed my way to the finish line just in time to yell and scream my heart out as The Hubby finished his first FULL MARATHON in 3:55:47!!! {It was loud in the dome, but he said he heard me loud and clear as he crossed – mission accomplished!}

Marathon Finish blog

DREAM REALIZED.

And now I’m crying again.

Marathon Done blog

I couldn’t be more proud of this guy. The way he trained, the way he rebounded from a setback, the way he persevered through the heat and humidity. And he humbled me by celebrating my race even more than his afterwards. I am blessed beyond measure.

Fargo Finishers blog.jpg

And I can’t even tell you how much it meant to go through that day together. We did separate races, but it felt like it was OUR thing. And there are few things quite as powerful and bonding as supporting each other all the way through to seeing a dream happen and knowing God was directing every step.

And the finisher medals  have Hebrews 12:1 on the back, the coolest reminder ever of just how we came to see the dream realized:

Fargo Medal.jpg

Honey, YOU are a rock star. I love you. What’s next?! :)

I would love to hear your story about dreaming with someone! How did you support one another? How did it improve

It was also part of my dream to raise money for Operation Christmas Child running as part of Team Samaritan’s Purse! We didn’t quite make our goal, but we still raised $238! Thank you SO much to all who donated and prayed for this race! YOU are part of the dream, as well, and a blessing to me!

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Praying God’s Word for Your Husband

We’re over a month into the new year and I’m curious…

Have you established any new good habits so far this year?

Research has shown that it takes about 21 days to establish a new habit, so assuming you’ve been working on something since around the first of January, you could have a new habit all set in stone by now!

I’m really excited about mine because it’s something I’ve wavered on back and forth for almost ten years now. I’ve prayed about being more consistent, but I haven’t really felt a long-standing success until now!

What is it?

Praying for my husband!

The Dreamy Hubby

Ahhh…isn’t he dreamy?! {Just give me a second…}

Ok, actually, it’s praying for him and the boys every morning. During my quiet time, I do my Bible study in my journal, and then I follow up that page with a handwritten page of prayers for all of my guys. I don’t know why this is clicking for me now, but it is one of my favorite parts of the day now!

I’ve had a renewed passion for praying for The Hubby specifically lately and a great resource has come my way from one of my favorite authors to fuel that passion even more!

Kathi Lipp, author of The Husband Project and The “What’s for Dinner?” Solution, has just released Praying God’s Word for Your Husband and I almost did cartwheels when it showed up at my door!

I’ve been praying God’s Word for our boys through Brooke’s Warrior Prayers book for a while now and was looking for something like it to pray through for my husband! This book is the answer!

Here’s why I really love it: Kathi encourages wives to pray BOLDLY from God’s Word for our husbands in a wide range of areas, but she also keeps the book fun and conversational in her signature style I have come to love! You’re going to read this book and feel encouraged and inspired!

I feel like I need to make this point today: The reason I feel passionate about praying for my husband is NOT because something is wrong with him. I mean, we’re all sinners, yes, but I’m not praying for The Hubby because he is a bad husband or going down the wrong path or anything! He is a FABULOUS husband and I can’t believe I’m so blessed to have been married to him for ten years this May!

Prayer is for the good times and the bad – can I get an amen on that? It’s just as important to pray protection and safety and blessing over our husbands during times of blessing as it is during times of suffering and hardship.

Kathi covers the good and the bad in Praying God’s Word for Your Husband: praying for his dreams and health, as well as praying for him when he is overcome with worry and feeling inadequate. Any wife will be blessed by the prayers Kathi offers up in this book!

Here is a favorite prayer of mine Kathi has written out in the book based on Deuteronomy 7:6….

Thank you, God, that my husband is set apart and made holy by you. Help me to look at him as you do. Help him to feel how special and treasured he is. As he goes about his day, I pray that you would shine your love into his life.

I know it’s not anything material you can physically give to your husband, but I can think of no greater Valentine’s gift for your husband this year… 

Praying God's Word for Your Husband

…than to get Praying God’s Word for Your Husband and start praying everyday for that man with whom God joined you on your wedding day!

What Bible verses are your favorite to pray over your husband?

 

*I received a review copy of this book. I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own. So are the happy hearts on the book photo :)

**This post contains affiliate links.

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Too Busy Living Life To Write About Life!

Well, hello again!

Yes, I am alive! Yes, we are doing well! I just took a little unscheduled break here as life at home picked up and some exciting things were happening in other areas of this online space!

First, for the “real life” stuff…

The Hubby spent four days working noon to midnight shifts in the ER. Yikes. I. MISSED. HIM. But two days off were the reward at the end of that not-so-fun streak!

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We’re glad to have him home and he’s glad to be around when we’re all awake!

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Big J was invited to test for his next Taekwondo belt! He started Taekwondo in November and has really enjoyed it. I love the mix of fun and discipline these taekwondo lessons have been for him! The test was a combination of physical skills and memorization of the Taekwondo oath and tenets. He did SO well at his test, but we won’t find out the results for another week or so! We are proud of him either way!

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Double J started clapping this week, so all day long I just want to play pat-a-cake and find new ways to make him clap because it is TOO CUTE. And Little J has us in stitches with his funny voices, dramatic reading of books, and all-around craziness. The older boys also started AWANA at our new church and are already loving it!

I was able to witness a miracle as dear friends who were on the brink of divorce renewed their vows over the weekend. There were some major tears as we watched God redeem what seemed beyond hope. Nothing is beyond hope with God. I was blessed and honored to be there. Praise the Lord that He still works in mysterious and wonderful ways!

My local Bible study started up again last week, and this time around we’re reading Desperate! We hadn’t met since November and I missed those girls! I’m really looking forward to our regular meetings again, especially talking about coming alongside each other in our motherhood journeys! I also has a blast at our church’s ladies’ craft night! Everybody just ate and chatted and worked on their own creative projects – loved it!

And then there is this blog-o-sphere…

Today, I’m posting over at the Tommy Nelson blog with a fun way to get those younger kids actively involved in Bible stories! After being stuck inside on below-zero wind chill days, this activity has helped us get some crazies out more than a few times! And it involves animals, which the boys loved! Head over there to check it out!

But the majority of my computer time has been spent working on behind-the-scenes details for the new site, Raising Hearty Boys! As most of you know, I’m the co-founder of The MOB Society {for mothers of boys}, and we’re in the middle of some major expansion right now! In January we added Boy Dads: In the Trenches of Fatherhood to our network, which is now Raising Boys Media! Raising Hearty Boys is set to launch next as a place for parents to find all things food and fitness related for boys! I have always loved to cook and bake, and exercise has become such an important part of our family life, so I am thrilled to be serving as editor for this new site! I’ll post more details as the launch date approaches!

And last, but not least, I’ve been working on my God-sized dream. If you’ll remember, part of my dream is to do what God is calling me to do while keeping Him and my family prioritized. As I sit down to write this post, I realize just how many times in the past week I’ve chosen time with Him and time with the boys before getting online or sitting down to write. It feels good. It feels right. And I have a lot more inspiration to draw from when the time to write comes! What a blessing!

That’s a full plate right there, but life is good! What’s been on your plate lately? How can I pray for you?

 

 

 

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Father’s Day Fun: My Dad is the Best Playground!

When I heard the name of today’s featured book, it was like the author had been observing a day {or everyday} at our house!

My Dad Is the Best Playground is a fun new book from author Luciana Navarro-Powell that celebrates the sacrifices dads make to have fun with their kiddos – like being climbed on like a playground! This sturdy board book is cute with fun illustrations!

I know our boys say that wrestling with and climbing on Daddy like the children in the book are some of their favorite things to do, so I asked Luciana to share some of her favorites times with her dad today…

I have very fond memories of playing “airplane” with my dad when I was 5 or 6 years of age. It was a Sunday morning routine. My brother and I would run to my parent’s bed in the morning, and we would take turns on the “airplane”. My dad would place us belly down on his shins, lie on his back and hold our hands, our arms stretched open, then with a rolling motion we would “take off”, with sound effects and all.

Later, as we got older, he would take us fly-fishing. It sounds ordinary enough, but for my dad, doing what everyone else does is absolutely impossible. He designed and made his own lures out of plastic resins and different glittering materials, it was so much fun to watch as they came out of their silicon molds.

He also designed and built his own kayaks out of wood and canvas, all sorts of funny boat inventions. He developed black and white photos on his own built-in lab in our house. He built us a house on a tree. Last but not least, he (obviously!) designed our own house too, in the middle of a wooded area,  that is an architectural landmark in my home city of Curitiba, in Brazil.

My book is a celebration of fathers in general and certainly an homage to my own. Happy Father’s Day!

Sounds like a fun childhood, doesn’t it?!

Now here is a fun little video trailer for My Dad Is the Best Playground

As part of this Father’s Day blog tour, you can win your very own copy of My Dad Is the Best Playground today only!

Leave a comment with a favorite memory of your father or a fun memory your kids have made with their dad!

Hurry! This giveaway is only open until midnight CST tonight! One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email!

And the fun continues all this week at these stops along the blog tour…

6/10: Watch. Connect. Read

6/10: SharpRead

6/11: Home with the Boys

6/12: Nerdy Book Club

6/13: Ruth Ayres Writes

6/14: Book Faerie

6/15: Random Acts of Reading

6/16: BookingMama.com

*****

Remember to plan ahead and make this weekend special for the dads in your life!

*****

*I was given a copy of this book to review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own.

**This post contains affiliate links.

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Is There a Doctor In the House?

After last weekend, the answer is…

YES!!! There IS a doctor in this house!

I’ve always been proud to be The Hubby’s wife, but that went to the next level last weekend as he officially became Dr. Hubby!

And to think, this little old blog started at the same time his journey to becoming a doctor began…

That’s Big J at two years old and Little J at two months old. Those four years just flew by.

The weekend festivities began with the Hooding Ceremony. This ceremony including the doctoral hooding…

…signing of a book they also signed when they entered medical school…

…and reciting of the Physicians’ Oath. It is at this hooding ceremony that the fourth year medical students officially become doctors! It is extra special because it is only the medical school graduates and their loved ones at this ceremony.

I will freely admit: the tears started that Friday morning and continued at the ceremony. And throughout the weekend. Lots and lots of happy tears.

Saturday was graduation day – the final step, along with the other health professions graduates {pharmacy, nursing, etc.}. The day looked a little like this…

Thanks to my father-in-law for getting up close to get the previous shots while we sat with the kiddos!

Proud boys lovin’ on Daddy!

The whole fam there to celebrate!

Leaving the building as a doctor and a graduate!

Celebratory steakhouse dinner!

Somehow, between wife & mommy & photographer duties over the weekend, this camera phone picture from my dad is the only one of us from the weekend…

And I will treasure it always because you can see the joy in both of our faces!

I’m not sure words can really express how much I love this man, but I feel blessed beyond belief to be married to him. He inspires me with his hard work and perseverance and loves me with everything he has. I thank God continually for what He has done in our life together, and that includes everything along the medical school path over the past four years, because now I can say…

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a doctor in the house!

Congrats honey! I love you!

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I Believe I Can Fly

These pictures are all the proof you need that I live in a house of adventure-seeking males…

Throwing the boys in the air made The Hubby feel left out, so he had to get some air time himself…

But jumping over just one boy was too easy…

And the boys had to try people-jumping for themselves…

This is my life.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. If you can’t join ‘em, take pictures of ‘em doing crazy things every chance you get!

Ah, boys…

*****

I’m linking up to Let’s Hear It For the Boys over at The MOB Society today! If you’re a boy mom, join in the link-up fun!

 

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