Being An Actual Mom

actual mom

I remember the first night it happened. It was 7:00 PM and I had just finished getting Ayva ready for bed. She had her story, I’d supervised her brushing her teeth, and she was snug and tucked in the bed. It wasn’t until I leaned in to kiss her that she said, “What? No dinner […]

The Unintentional Horror Of The Elf On The Shelf

Elf On The Shelf

Our family has quite a few holiday traditions.  We love to watch “Elf” on Thanksgiving day. Then, Terrence and his mom go out shopping early in the morning on Black Friday, and I go out later that evening after the crowds have died down. There’s hot cocoa just about every day for nearly  a month, […]

{Saturday Sights} Daddy and Daughter Days


It’s official. The Rileys are a forever family. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

How We Got To Forever

daddy daughter dog

I made a conscious decision to be a single mother. Well, I didn’t actually plan it, but once I became pregnant and was able to get a glimpse into what parenting in the future would be with him, I made the choice that would be best for my child. There are all sorts of reports […]

Fueling Ayva’s Brighter Future

milk and cookies 3

This post was sponsored by ‘Got Milk?’ through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about ‘Got Milk?’, all opinions are my own. There’s something to be said for unplugging and spending quality time with the people that you love. When I was growing up, although my mom […]

Get Ready For Holiday Snacking!

snack 2

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas…’tis the season for overindulging, am I right? From candy to pie and everything in between, usually around this time of year I’m digging out every pair of pants that I have with an elastic waistband to get ready for the season of holiday eatings! The last few years have been different, though. Every […]

3 Simple Ways To Track Your Child’s Mini-Milestones

3 Simple Ways To Track Your Child's Mini-Milestones

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team.  I’ve always envied those amazing moms who take the time to organize their children’s baby books. Not only are the pictures in chronological order, but they’ve also remembered to write down all of the milestones. First tooth? It’s in there. First step? Yup. First word? You betcha. […]

How Ayva Got Her Name

How Ayva Got Her Name

It’s been a little over a month since Ayva started kindergarten, and I’m incredibly amazed at the young scholar my baby girl is becoming. Every week she comes home with all of the work she’s completed in class in a folder, and it’s hard to believe that she does that much in less than 6 […]

The Most Important Thing Is Love

The Underground Girls Of Kabul

Once upon a time, in my former life, I was a Teaching Artist who helped encourage creativity in young children. That career path was awesome, but it meant a lot of piecing together gigs here and there to make a full-time living. The summer months were different, though. During the summer, I taught theater at […]

Extraordinary Ayva

Extraordinary Ayva

Not long ago, after putting Ayva to bed, Terrence said to me, “You know what I love the most about Ayva? She can have a bad day, get in trouble and have to get a time out, but when she wakes up the next morning, it’s like it never happened.” It’s true. My Ayva is […]