Hey Ghost Town!

I’ve dusted the cobwebs off my site.

It’s kind of funny being back here. On this space. Looking at pictures from – oh, I don’t know – a whole year ago. A whole year!

I think my last really great update on the ol’ Soderberg crew was talking about our summer. That epic summer that filled my spirit and prepared my boy for the big new world of Kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN! Five full days a week. I couldn’t even imagine! There was an ache in my heart just thinking about the time away from that boy. A fear that I would not be there to pick him up when he falls. Go all “crazy momma bear” when someone hurts his feelings. Those feelings of his that I have fiercely protected over the last 5 years. The unknown was just so vast. And overwhelming.

And Lucas. I think I was celebrating a job well done. A job finished. Completed. Check off that little bump in the road called Sensory Processing Disorder.

Moving on… High five Me!

HA! I am just sitting here shaking my head. What an idiot I was as momma of an SPD kid back then. (shakes head) Yeah… um… back in therapy. (still shaking head) BUT, I learned that this boy has more fight in him than I even knew and more dreams and love than a heart can hold. I love him so.

And Roman. My baby that I held on to every breath. Every wheeze. Every rise and fall. I wish I had known that in just a year, she would be scaring the shit out of me in a totally different way. A way of defiance and fight and rebellion. A bravery that is inspiring. This crazy girl has a strong will. A will that last year kept her alive and this year, it keeps me alive.

So now, here I am on the other side of that big valley of unknown. Of insecurities. The school year is finally coming to an end. Arguably the best year of our lives.

Brooks went into this year my baby with a peek over his shoulder to make sure I was there. A look in his eye asking me,

“Are you sure about this momma?”

But now, somehow, he is walking out of those doors with an independence and swagger that is all his own. A confidence that simultaneously breaks my heart and lifts my spirit. This kid was built up through successes and failures. He’s learning that kids can be brutal but he doesn’t have to be. And He’s dreaming big – pushing through. Kindergarten, I think we will miss you. I kind of wish I could hold on to you just a little bit longer. But here we are, with end-of-the-year activities, recitals, field days, packets of summer reading lists and first grade -wtf! FIRST GRADE- school supply lists. It’s all coming to an end.

And just like that, I’m on the other side. Looking back all nostalgic for the past. And starting to feel all hopeful and inspired for the summer ahead! I can taste it. Even through weeks of rain and clouds. (And weather cold enough to bust out winter Uggs.)

I can still taste you summer! I’m coming for you!

I’m coming with three kids and a man so different than we were the last time we met. We are thinner. (MyFitnessPal FTW!) And older. Stronger and less tired. No longer just surviving but living. Living the life we kind of always wanted. This year we have grown up – all of us. We’ve learned to pull together as a family. And to support each other in new ways.

And I have learned to dream. And dream big. Which, to be honest, is really new to me. As a momma who pours everything I have– every last drop into being a mom. Not just a mom. But the very best mom. It’s been really weird to kind of start waking up to girl.

A girl before she met baby.

A girl that might just have a dream that is all her own. It’s something that gives me butterflies in my stomach. The world of possibilities.

I’ve started to dip my toes into that new world. Into those dreams. And I’m all sorts of inspired. Style. Fashion. The Mom Edit. Magazine clippings. Pinterest and blogs. And writing – Oh writing! I love you so. My heart has a place for you. And that’s been so good for me to remember. This place – Girl Meets Baby. It’s what started it all.

So on to the next chapter. Our chapter. My chapter. Where I will tell myself what I whisper in my kids ears at night,

“You’ve got this. Just work for it baby.”

Ciao! Girl

From Instagram

Loud and Clear

For some reason my husband likes to post Instagram photos with overly cryptic messages about my health. If you follow him you’ll remember the,

“prayers for my wife, she is having routine surgery”

Or most recently, the whole thing about his “wife’s health” where she had

“horrible potential scenarios but was dealt the least frightening diagnosis”

Good God man. It was high blood pressure. High blood pressure! Ok, I did have my gallbladder removed and enough ER trips to fund a small new wing of the hospital, but at the end of the day how can I complain when other people are suffering so much worse?

And since then my inbox, texts, and Facebook messages were flooded with

“Are you ok?” “Do you have cancer?”

So, perhaps I should just put it all out there.

And to be honest, I’ve kinda needed to do this. Nothing turns that FML feeling into a “God is good” conclusion like blogging about it. My therapy of sorts. 

So here it is…

There is a song. By the Weepies, I think.

 “Woke up and wished that I was dead with an aching in my head. I lay motionless in bed. I thought of you and where you’d gone and let the world spin madly on.”

This song is on repeat in my mind lately. Those lyrics. And while ‘wishing I was dead may be a little dramatic’ it’s sadly had moments of being kind of true. I know. Terrible.

I’ve been suffering from migraines. Something relatively new to me.

And these headaches. These pounding, debilitating aches. They stop me in my tracks. In my bed. And I lay there motionless. And while the ‘you’ on the mind of whoever wrote that Weepies song may have been a lost love or something different altogether, I find myself thinking of my sister.

You, dear Janie. I think of you.

She has seemingly forever been the poster child for migraines. She spent years in a dark room. With my parents by her side.

And in my youth, I remember being frustrated with her. With where our family was. With how everything revolved around these migraines. With the sheer number of hospitals and doctors and specialist that couldn’t “fix” her. The medicines. The ice. The anxiety for when that next headache would arrive. The depression for a life not lived like everyone else.

And then — slowly but surely — medicines, therapies, prayers (and God knows what), started working. She will most likely always be a migraine sufferer. But a life being well lived. A life completely worth living. Her world most definitely spins ‘madly on’.

So it had been years since I had thought of her as any sort of victim. As anyone who has been anything other than a wild and crazy girl living her dreams to the fullest.

But then, migraines introduced themselves into my life this last year. They must have known I was settling into 3 kids and needed a new challenge (insert the thickest tone of sarcasm possible). These were the kind that blind you. That leave you either completely still or writhing in pain. The kind that take your life and reduce it to a dark room with your mom or husband by your side. And I think of little Janie and regret every frustration or resentment I’d ever felt for her. I’m just sad. And I’m scared.

And those two words have driven my last year. Sad and scared. And what I could have never anticipated is that these migraines — these attacks on the brain — start to change you. The fear of the next one. The guilt for what you are missing. For the slack that everyone is picking up for you. The depression for a life so different than you want it.

And sometimes, that depression can disguise itself in other forms. In anxieties. In control. In a feeling of needing change. In a lack of patience. In a heartbreak so deep that it stops wanting to beat.

And living is quickly replaced with surviving.

And as I tried the many different medicines and physical therapies, I discovered that I have high blood pressure that may or may not be related to the migraines (still figuring this out). And not just high. Like, stoke-level high. The kind of numbers that look like the results of an overtime basketball game. And as my doctor would warn me, it’s the kind of high blood pressure that will kill you if left alone. The kind of high blood pressure that a simple

“oops I forget my new heart medication”

will most definitely result in a,

“oops I am no longer alive”.

And let me tell you: there is no anxiety like mortality anxiety.

Nothing compares. The gamut of emotions that take you from prayers on bended knees to wondering if you are just talking to yourself in a world that ends with you being dirt in the ground instead of welcomed into heaven by a Lord and Savior.

Now listen, don’t stop reading just because you don’t believe. I totally get it. I really do. “Oh boy, here comes the Christian stuff!”. We’re the crazy ones. The believers. So bare with me while I talk crazy.

It was then — just then. When I had been reduced to nothing, to believing nothing, that I ended up right back there on bended knees.

I was carrying my cross. And I remembered the one who carried that cross first.

And feeling “Him” there more than ever.

I found myself with my head on the steering wheel. I had just left my little family at the swimming pool to go home and get my migraine meds because, as much as I wanted to push through, these migraines break through and derail your life.

And as I was paralyzed by disappointment, failure, and sheer depression. With my head lowered. My eyes closed. I found myself praying. To a God I had almost given up on. And maybe this time I was just broken enough. Just desperate enough. That I no longer felt like I was talking to myself.

“Lord, You win. I am broken. I’m beat. And I’m ready to give up. I have nothing left to fight with. Nothing left to fight for. Take this away. Please oh please, Lord. Take my cross.”

And I sat there in silence.

My broken prayer lingering in my head. Lingering in the universe. And just then, my heart started to change. And so did my prayer. My prayer became a whisper. Instead of praying a statement of despair I began to pray a plea for guidance.

“Or Lord, I guess what I need is, more fight. Help me to be constantly reminded of what I am fighting for”

And just as the words left my lips. I looked up. And there. Right in front of me. Was my husband. And three soaking wet kids. With smiles and giggles and screams of laughter. And I made eye contact with this man of mine. And he winked at me and waved as he approached the car. And it’s them. It’s the blessings I already have that I’d rather spin ‘madly on’ then not at all.

Deep sigh. 

Okay Lord, I hear you. Loud and Clear.

Ciao! Girl


A year. 365 days. 365 changes.

One year ago.

We had just bought our new house. In our new neighborhood. And while this new house still sat empty, we spent Halloween night trick or treating up and down these little blocks.

Back then, I had a four year old who was super scared of the houses. The decorations. A four year old that needed his daddy to knock first. Brooks hid behind Dave’s leg most of the night. Only to peek around to whisper

“trick or treat”

And Lucas. My little one. Oh this boy has changed so much. Last year, on the last house after blocks of forcing trick or treating. He whispered,

“treat treat”

He had basically no language. Those quiet words felt like such a victory then. At this point, we still struggled greatly with eye contact and hand holding. And this boy walked silently from house to house. Held out his bucket. Staring at the ground. Never a smile. A boy that lasted in his dusty crop hopper plane costume all of 10 minutes.

And Roman. My girl. A baby with basically no concept of Trick or Treating. A girl who clung to her momma. I carried her most the night. She ate about four suckers while we followed her brothers from house to house. She fell asleep to the rhythm of my feet on the concrete.

Looking back, I realize I wanted “it” so bad. That night. I wanted that moment I remember from my childhood. Really, I wanted it to be so different than it was. And I sort of left that night feeling a little lost and a little lonely.

Over and over, we had passed groups of families talking. Kids running through the darkness. Laughing. Screaming. And I felt like such an outsider. I felt lost and confused. I questioned things about my kids that took months to let go of again. Brooks’ bravery and maturity for his ripe old age of 4. Lucas. My heart just broke for where this boy was in life. And his future or lack thereof because honestly at that point I didn’t really see one. For Lucas, it was his disconnect from childhood that was so much greater than trick or treating. And it truly ripped my heart from its chest. And Roman. My girl who most time just felt like a backpack I carried around. That night she was just the  extra weight as I so desperately was trying to create something we just weren’t ready for.

But a year. 365 days. And while somethings felt the same. Everything was different. And not one bit of me takes that for granted.

What a difference a year can make.

This year. This Halloween. I spent the day at Brooks’ school watching my Wolverine march in a parade with his class. I mingled with moms during his classroom party. I walked home to another little boy just as excited for trick or treating. The loudness and excitement in my house waiting for daddy to get home was contagious. The minutes passed as the kids chased each other around the back yard waiting for darkness. Wolverine. A police officer. And a little witch. All filled with magic for this day.

This year my expectations started out way lower. Lucas started working on costumes back in June with his therapist Renee but still he spent the majority of the day deciding if he was even going to wear a costume at all. And Roman’s asthma is well… less than controlled right now. We weren’t even sure how far we would make it outside in the cold before that cough started to end our night early. But we were ready to try and that’s all that mattered. 

So we set off. Buckets in hand. Barely dark. And hit the first street. My three. Running up the stairs. All banging on the door.

Lucas rang the door bell probably 10 times.

“That’s enough dude.”

Dave yelled up to him. 

We stood on the side walk. Watching our three BIG kids. The door finally opened. And three of the wildest voices yelled,


A kind man filled my kids buckets with a handful of candy each.

“Who are you?”

He asked each of my kids. 

“I’m Wolverine.”

Brooks screamed followed by some sweet moves that I’m sure looked even more amazing in his head. 

“I’m a Police!”

Lucas interrupted. 

“I a witch.”

Roman stuttered through. 

They came running down the stairs filled with smiles.

“Mom, Dad. Look how much candy we got.”

“Awesome. Did you say thank you?”

And in an instant, all three turned around at the same time.


Oh be still my heart. 

So off we went to the next house. And the next and the next. And as we ran into friends on the streets. We talked with parents. We yelled at Brooks to wait for us as he ran from house to house.  Lucas stuck to his side. Screaming at the top of his lungs. And Roman insistent to walk. To keep up with her brothers.

And by the time we made it home. It was late. We had walked blocks and blocks.

The kids laid out on the floor and counted their candy.

Lucas sat dressed head to toe in a costume. And he kept stuffing more and more chocolate in his mouth.

“Momma! This is the best day of the year! The very best day!” 

And I don’t know if it was comparing this day of Halloween to last year or just taking a moment to soak it all in. But that smile from Luke. Those words. They melted my heart so much that I just sat there watching him eat more and more candy. I could have listened to him recap the night forever.

Then he basically ate himself into a food coma while I got all emotional that he threw up in his sleep that night. Chocolate everywhere! I sooooo brought that on myself. But man, I would let him eat it all over again, just to re-live that night. Those emotions of growth. I had such pride for my kids. For that brave 5 year old. For the 3 year old so full of life. And that 2 year old determined to be part of it all. 

I realize now it was Time. My little family needed time. More time to grow up. More time to heal. Mommas out there. I wish I had known all along what I learned this year. These holidays happen organically. These kids grow at their own pace. Give yourself time.

Halloween. It’s a holiday rooted in evil. In darkness. But my God showed his light to me this day. His goodness. His blessings. And most of all, His faithfulness.

And once again, I am learning to trust in HIS timing. Not mine.

Ciao! Girl


I Heart This Family of Mine

Ciao! Girl


Ain’t No Pain Like A Momma Off Her Game

So I wrote this post forever ago while I was going through a rough patch as a momma.

So while I am so thankful not to be in this place anymore, I decided to post it up anyway. Maybe some of you mommas can relate? 


The last couple weeks. Months maybe? I’ve just been a little off as a mama. As a wife. Just a general sense of feeling uninspired. Unfulfilled. Moments that should be huge felt small. Moments that usually fuel me — fill my cup — just kind of passed me by. I guess I lost myself in the motions. And as my passion for being a mom, a wife, a human started to slip, so did my confidence. And I got that feeling that every mom knows all too well (I hope). That feeling that you’re a bad mom. Well, not bad. But just that you’re not doing enough. Not doing what you should be. And my familiar mama-style began to shift and change.

Now bare with me as I painfully remind you of what sucks about this journey called motherhood. I’ll get to the good stuff in a sec.

The pressures of motherhood are brutal. The milestones, the responsibilities, the exhaustion, the opinions, the general lack of compassion from fellow human beings — I am talking to you deep-sigh-lady behind me in the grocery store.  And those pressures rain down with unrelenting force. And the silver lining for me is that sometimes — most times really — I simply dance in that rain. Because well… #humblebrag. I am an amazing mama. It’s something I do extraordinarily well. With love and patience and passion. And that day in and day out of motherhood — the part most mama’s hate. It fulfills me. It builds me up. It gives me confidence unlike anything else in this world. At the end of most days I drag my tired self to the couch, curl up next to Dave, and tell him all the magic that that happened that day. All the funny things Brooks said. All the milestones Lucas crushed. All the cuteness Roman exploded. And it’s in that moment — that reflection — that I am reminded just how truly blessed I am. Each and every day.

But then there are the other days. Days I’ve been seeing far too much of lately. The days where I just question everything I am doing. Days that end in crying next to Dave on the couch instead of joyfully reflecting. These nights end in doubt, frustration, and failure. The culmination of all those little moments that you fell short. The kids falling asleep to you yelling at them to stay in their beds. Mindlessly scrolling through your phone instead of giving them the attention they deserve. A battery drained stopwatch from all the timeouts. A healthy meal traded for frozen nuggets and chips. A diaper left unworn and the rug pee stain to prove it. You get the point.

It’s just one of those days. Where you find yourself not even wanting to look at those little assholes. Where you slowly lose yourself along the course of the day. Where you were pushed to every breaking point you have. It’s those days that turn into the nights where I walk up the stairs and that rain (the rain I used to dance in) is drowning me. And inevitably you realize every moment that almost broke you wasn’t even their fault. It was yours.

Ain’t no pain like a mama off her game.

So when I feel like a failure. When I want to quit. Give up entirely. I have to fight. Fight like hell.

Now listen, Dave is like any other guy and can sometimes offer me nothing. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll try. But solving the puzzle of

“what’s wrong with wifey”

is like exploratory surgery — you may or may not find the problem. But Dave is consistently amazing at building up my confidence. And on these nights, that’s usually his M.O. And it usually sends me to bed with the mantra of

“tomorrow is a new day. I’ve got this.”

But not lately. No, lately all my nights were ending this way. And as the days turned into weeks. I sort of stopped believing that “tomorrow is a new day” thing. I started to expect the meltdown. The fall. And this heart of mine started to feel like someone else’s. A beat I didn’t recognize. A way of loving and an attitude that just wasn’t me.

And I can pinpoint the moment I broke,

 “Hey Brooks.”

I yelled downstairs.

No answer. 

“Brooks? Dude, Answer me or I’m taking your WiiU away.”


I went downstairs stomping extra loud. Partly out of frustration and partly to make my point. But he wasn’t in his room. Or Roman’s room. Or downstairs at all for that matter. And as the minutes passed it got scary. I mean, this is a little house. As Dave and I were frantically running around our house screaming his name at the top of our lungs. My heart stopped beating.

But then Dave found him. Hiding behind the door of his office. And Brooks came around the corner with the biggest smile on his little face. Those curls in his eyes.

“Surprise Mama!!”

He had thought he was hiding. That this was a game. And I did something I NEVER do. I started yelling at him.


And in an instant that smile was gone. Replaced with a quivering lip and broken spirit.

I don’t yell. Ever. I never really have. Well, of course, I have but NOT LIKE THIS. And before I knew it Dave had dropped to his knees and, using soft spoken words, he began to clean up my mess,

 “Bud. Mommy was scared. Hide and seek is fun but you have to answer when we yell for you. You have to know when we’re not playing anymore. We were scared because we couldn’t find you. But that was an awesome hiding place!”

Proceeded by a high five.

I looked in the mirror that night. To a face I didn’t recognize. And I realized what was missing. It wasn’t that I could just dust my hands off and try again tomorrow. It was deeper than that. It was my passion for this. My inspiration. And passion is a funny thing. It can be strong and steady. It can be all encompassing. It can drive change. And happiness. It can feel so good. And so fulfilling. It literally has the power to make a life worth living. Make that sunrise in the morning not feel so early. Or those darkened streets not feel so quiet. It builds confidence. And hope. And best of all, dreams of what lies ahead.

But that passion. It is fickle. And temperamental. And can be gone in an instant. It has to be nurtured. cultivated. And most of all, protected. Because when that passion of the heart is lost. It starts to beat differently. 

And I finally realized that the rain I once danced in had me dodging for cover. I was questioning myself. I had started to change who I was. The “way others are doing it” started to matter to me. The pressures came and my foundation was cracked. I am regularly an extremely Type B person. Laid back maybe to a fault. But it’s something that works so well for my littles because it’s something that works so well for me. But summer had just arrived. I felt the pressures of activities. And sun. And Kindergarten prep. And I made up my mind to be Type A. I can do this. Plan more. Be more rigid in my expectations for myself and my kids.

But man, you Type A people. That shit is stressful. And this idea to be more “perfect” as a mom this summer? It started to change the way I do motherhood. And as I changed, so did my kids. And all of our happiness shifted. Our ability to do what we do had been replaced by a pressure to conform.

And in the darkness of the night. That night I’d exploded on Brooks. Dave laid in bed. Played with my hair. And whispered over our sleeping daughter,

“You do you.”

“Stop trying to be someone else. I love the way we do things. I love who you are. I love every ounce of this life. I love every ounce of who you are.”

“You do you.”

I laid awake most of the night thinking about that. I had lost my voice. I had stopped doing what came naturally to me. And in that wandering my passion was left somewhere along the way. So I took it to heart. “You do you.” It was simple. It was to the point. And holy shit was it what I needed to hear.

And there I found myself — in an instant. Completely re-inspired. Inspired to drown out the noise. To let the deafening sound of pressures, expectations, and opinions be overcome by my own rhythm. 


Ciao! Girl