I’m lying on an exam table at my ob. I’m five weeks pregnant and got an early appointment because I had a ton of cramping.


Do you believe this?


That’s twice this week.



Is something wrong??


(pointing to a back hole on the sonogram screen)

See this?

(points to another black hole)

And this?


And that’s how I found out I was having twins.

The weeks that followed were like one long flu. Only unlike the flu, I knew that I wouldn’t be better in a day, or even a week. I felt like absolute hell, and knew I’d feel exactly the same tomorrow.

I gained a whole new appreciation for people with chronic illness. I found myself wanting to read stories about people in awful situations like concentration camps or living with cancer to remind myself that there were others far worse off than me.

But instead I puked, ate, and slept (in bed, on the floor of my children’s playroom, in the doctor’s office, and possibly at a stoplight).

The few people I told about the twins had to decipher what I was saying through my tears. We had expected a #3, but the idea of a #3 and #4 hadn’t occurred to me on any level. And I didn’t have time to look on the bright side because I was too busy puking.

My bedroom became a black hole. Feeling so exhausted reminded me of depression, which terrified me. I could hear my two boys (ages 3 and 4) playing downstairs with the babysitter and felt immensely guilty, and wondered how I’d ever have the strength to mother not just two but four children. Needless to say, it was a shitty time.

A friend told me about Zofran, the anti-nausea medication, and by week 10 or so I was able to make it to my office for a few hours before retreating to the black hole for the rest of the day.

And then, on week 11, something miraculous happened — my mom arrived. A week or so later I found myself wanting to make a to-do list. And things have been gradually looking up ever since then.

I can’t imagine how people get through the first trimester of a twin pregnancy while holding down a full time job, commuting, or being a stay at home mom with no babysitter. I can’t imagine how people do this without telling anyone. I can’t imagine how people do this more than once.

Today, I bid my first trimester goodbye.

And with that must come some gratitude.

I have two very wiggly healthy babies who are exactly the same size and exactly where they should be at 13 weeks 6 days. I have a husband who came home early to help me, and then worked well into the night. I have a mom who dropped everything to come run my household, a step mom who came to keep my boys busy, and friends who texted me daily and others who dropped off bags and bags of maternity clothes. I have a business I love that fortunately didn’t implode while I was doing time in the black hole. And two little boys who are thrilled that I’m having twins because “we each get our own baby.”

Thank you for your gifts, first trimester.

I’m so glad we will never meet again.


one thousand gifts ann voskamp

It was a tense weekend.

A bank snafu that temporarily drained our cash reserves. 

A misunderstanding with a friend.

Anxiety over the unknown as Ian moves his office to Manhattan and I take over our local space.

The anniversary of the worst phone call I’ve ever received, that my father had died at age 59.

My heart felt racy and junky all weekend. Then, on Monday, just plain sad.

I crave solitude and find myself daydreaming about a cabin on the banks of the St. Lawrence River waay upstate.

But since feeling to the New York/Canada border is out of the question, I picked up Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts (which you really have to be in the mood for) and received this message:

Stress = fear

Fear = lack of trust

The antidote to stress is trust.

The antidote to fear is trust.

The way to practice trust is giving thanks.

“The only way to fight a feeling is with a feeling…We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose–which emotion do we want to feel?” –Ann Voskamp

Today, I will practice replacing fear with trust.

Today, I will practice replacing anxiety with gratitude.




I’ve taken the boys to Florida to see their grandparents two or three times now, and I’m starting to get pretty good at the whole flying solo bit. (Even after Isaiah’s breakdown at LGA earlier today.)

So here’s what I’ve got to share. Feel free to add to the list in the comments–as we all know, it takes a village.

Each child over the age of two carries a backpack

And not just for fun. Inside said backpack is everything the kiddo needs for the flight, including their own diapers/pullups, snacks, toys, electronic devices, books, and art supplies. “You really make your kid carry his own diapers?” Hells yea!

Before the flight, find somewhere — anywhere — for them to run

I love the Tampa airport for the play area that always seems to be deserted in the Blue terminal. (I’m far less afraid of germs than I am of wound-up kids on flight.) But most airports we pass through aren’t so accommodating.

At LaGuardia earlier this week, which is small and crowded, I had no choice but to let them run like maniacs on this window-lined runway.

“That looks dangerous,” I heard a 20-something flight attendant say to her cohort. “Actually, it looks like fun,” he replied. Hey, at least they were contained by that metal bar.

Even on short flights, plan two meals.

Here’s why: your flight may only cross over one meal (i.e. lunch) but you have to consider door-to-door time, not to mention delays. This morning, I fed the boys cereal bars in the car (7am), egg sandwiches at the airport (10am), snacks on the plane (10am-noon), and pbj’s in the car on the way home (1pm). I’ve tried to substitute snacks for meal #2 in the past, and it wasn’t pretty.

Don’t bank on in-flight entertainment.

As much as I love Jet Blue,  I’ve planned on their personal television devices for two hours of free babysitting only to have the satellite be out of commission for the entire flight.

So plan for backup entertainment. And no, that does not mean math worksheets and Arthur books. It means a full-charged iPhone loaded with at least one of their favorite movies and some new apps. You can save your super mom business for when your feet are on the ground.

You can actually pee alone.

Just look around for a grandmotherly type and ask her if she can sit with your little darlings while you run to the lav. I’ve never had anyone say no. Ok, you’re leaving your kids with a complete stranger, but how much harm can they do in full view of everyone else, in a highly screened, closely monitored environment? And even if your kid gets a little freaked out (mine haven’t, FYI), it’s a  hell of a lot better than them touching everything in sight in those filthy filthy airplane bathrooms. (And you do know not to ever use the airplane bathroom sink, right?)

Have someone in charge give them a little scare.

I’m deeply proud of the fear I’ve instilled in my children when it comes to officers of the law. Which as far as I’m concerned includes security guards, flight attendants, cashiers, and anyone wearing anything close to a uniform.

Earlier today, Isaiah launched into a Category 5 tantrum  because he wanted to sit in the single stroller occupied by his younger brother. The tantrum lasted from our gate all the way down to baggage claim, where our car service driver was nowhere to be found.

Exhausted, crowded, and faced with trying to pull 3 overstuffed suitcases off the conveyor belt while keeping an eye on the stroller, my way too heavy tote, and a child who was flailing on the ground, I had no choice but to pull out the big guns. As a security guard passed by, I pretended to be scared. Isaiah immediately sat up to see what was up. “Police officer,” I whispered. And the guard played along! He got a really mean face (a bit too mean, actually), and said, “LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER.” Problem solved. Mister tantrum piped down.

So that’s what I’ve got. How about you?


Year of the Book


I super excited to announce that I’ve launched a new company: Year of the Book. You can read all about it on my lovely new website.

But what I want to talk about here is passion.

As I’ve written about here, here, and here, last November I took my kids out of daycare and took a three month sabbatical from the company I run with my husband.

One thing I realized during my sabbatical was that I need a work project. I wish I could be one of those moms who puts all her energy into her children. I wish I could say I’ve done half the projects I’ve collected/hoarded on Pinterest. But I’ve finally accepted that I’m a better mom when I have a project I’m working on.

When the idea for my new business started emerging, it was like sucking on a delightful piece of candy throughout the day—a little treat in the back of my head I could daydream about or sketch out on park benches while the kids play.

When I don’t have that, I get itchy. Unsettled. Impatient. Ungrounded.

I created space, and something new emerged…

I am well aware of how blessed I am, how indulgent it was, to be able to take three months off to clear my head. That space is what allowed me to begin dreaming again. It was the best time I ever had not shopping! (Since I felt like spending unnecessarily really wasn’t in our family’s best interest while I wasn’t working.)

And I knew I was on to something when I started listening to podcasts in the kitchen while I was making dinner.

That’s the kind of passion I’m used to having in my work life, and that frankly I’ve lost touch with since I became a mom.

…And slowly came into focus

Earlier this year, I started doing some serious passion hunting.

I worked in small virtual groups of women online through Hannah Marcotti’s wonderful programs.

I joined the Mamacoach circle, which is an online group for holistic coaches. I still remember my introduction, which went something like, “I’m not sure why I’m here since I’m not a health professional or a coach. But I finally signed up because I’m dying to hear all these recorded calls you guys are doing.”

I focused all of  my reading and online time in the words and company of people who are pursuing their passions. (Links to come.)

And I participated in an amazingly powerful exercise by Visionary Mom Lisa Work. Really — I can’t tell you how powerful this recording was for me. By the end of her teleconference, I knew exactly what my business would be. In fact, I listened to the call twice — the first time trying to fit what I thought my passion “should” be into my answers. And the second time with my true passion. It’s amazing how my answers flowed out of me the second time around. **I’ve contacted Lisa to see if I can share access to that recorded call–stay tuned**

UPDATE: Here’s the link:

Create Your Visionary Business — Free Training Call. 

Thanks Lisa for sharing it with us!

So how about you?

I wanted to share all of this with you because doing this passion seeking has changed my life. And if I can help you in any way, by recommending resources or just listening to your dreams and encouraging you, then please comment or send me an email.

I’ve been through the ringer the past few years. I’ve struggled like hell with postpartum depression and anxiety, and trying to figure out how to balance it all, and trying to figure out who I am and what my purpose is besides being a mother to two beautiful boys.

The color is back in my face. And that’s what I wish for you, too.



P.S. If you or someone you know are interested in how working with a book coach helps you reach your goals with clarity, focus, and meaning,  please visit my website.

P.P.S. If you have found amazing resources that helped you find your path, tell us about them in the comments!