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honestly

Brave Heart and Shaky Steps

I made a bucket-list of special things I wanted to do in my lifetime. Each item required a different kind of brave. Make a homemade apple pie called for culinary courage, while adopt a child required a different sort of bravery altogether. read more

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Redefining the F-word

You might be wondering where our wonderful Hello, Darling house blogger, Emily Wieranga, has been recently. We are so excited to introduce our beloved Emily’s new baby, Aria Hope. read more

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Should My Weight Bother Me?

I heard a boy mumble something about my double size shirt. The immediate response by the girls following me was, “Ooooohhhh, are you going to let him talk to you like that?! He just called you fat!” My response, “I am a happy, confident woman. It does not bother me, what he says.” read more

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Learning from Failure

But the most tragic mommy war is the one we have internally. When we spend too much time focusing on the fact we are failing, we are at war with ourselves. read more

honestly

Fear of Being Nobody

I love my mom. I do. But the weird thing is. I don’t really know who it is that I love. What are her dreams? Her wishes? Her nightmares? Her beliefs? What is her favorite food? What does she want to pursue? What is her brave? Who is she? read more

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What if Failure Became a Good Thing?

All of my failures have a story, and some even have an excuse, but in the end, they are all failures, just the same. I rarely fail at failing. My fear of failure drove me to a life of relentless perfectionism – a life measured by control, success and accolades. read more

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It's Not Just the Baby Crying

It’s hard to write about this because so many people make you think those first days, weeks and months of your child’s life should be the happiest of your life. And yes, I was overwhelmed with love for Mae, but I was also paralyzed by anxiety and worry. read more

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When Our Past Issues Hold Us Back

We have talked about a third baby. The enormity of this decision is not just financial, although there are things we cannot do, if we pick a baby. The decision is physical, and it is emotional. That is because there will be no happy accidents for us. read more

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5 Ways to Raise Up Hungry Children

It will be another twenty years before I can admit to having a mental illness, but today is a start. Because I saw her on the way to the hospital. A woman, jogging, and she was muscular and the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen because she was so fully alive. read more

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How to be Vulnerable

“Can I cry?” The deluge of tears and snot began, of course, before this terse sentence had even left my lips. I was mired in a season of life where I felt like nothing but one huge, raw, exposed nerve. read more

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Finding a Place to Bloom

I once heard a speaker talk about how each of us is a beautiful masterpiece. I scoffed inwardly as the speaker shared these words. I spent much of my life believing there was no way this was true about me. I didn’t feel at all like a masterpiece, and I certainly didn’t feel beautiful. read more

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It Doesn't Have to be Big to be Courageous

Along the parenting journey, I felt a sense of longing and loss. Who was I now? Some of my friendships dwindled, hobbies subsided, and returning to work was no longer feasible. How do I find myself again? Bravely, I decided to search. read more

honestly

Bravely Dancing

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away I had been a ballerina and a college cheerleader. But the rigors of law school and later the grueling hours of practicing law at a large international law firm had taken their toll on my body - and that was before children. read more

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Courage Suppressant

Comparison is the suppressor of courage. Slowly and subtly the act of comparing ourselves stifles the ability to bravely be who we are as individuals, women and mothers. It takes courage to view ourselves as mothers in real light and not the shadows of other woman. read more

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The Calling Out

Often we have a perspective that allows us to see someone’s undiscovered potential. It goes both ways—be open to others when they “call something out of you.” And also watch for the hidden potential you see in others and take the time to “call it out of them.” read more

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The Bravest Thing I'll Never Say

For the next 110 days, I watched my 1-pound, 9-ounce miracle struggle to do the things your newborn accomplishes in a matter of hours. He was intubated, placed in an incubator, and littered with more wires than most entertainment centers. read more

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Uniquely Knit

Here is the truth, friends, mothering little ones is important and hard. Often, amidst the practical and exhausting demands of the day it feels easier to shrink, to conform. But sisters, you have things to offer this world that no one else has. read more

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Hiding Is the Opposite of Courage

Why are countless names scratched off my heart? Why are things always definitively over? Why is there never room for reconciliation and redemption? The answer kept floating around me in two bitter words: vicious grudges. read more

honestly

What Would You Do?

“I’m working my way right out of this job.” I thought sadly to myself as my preschooler began to chatter about starting kindergarten in the coming year. I love being a mom. It was all I had wanted to do my entire life. read more

honestly

Uncharted Territory

“You’re the widow that moved across the street?” My new neighbor parked her stroller in front of my townhome. The sun shone brightly in the sky, melting the last of the winter snow edging my lawn. read more

honestly

Bloom

We watch with anticipation, knowing the art in each bloom will be magnificent. But, there is patience to wait, knowing each stage of the blossoming process highlights a different piece of the flower’s inherent beauty. Thus it is with becoming. read more

honestly

The Power of Hope

On a cold January afternoon with fresh fallen snow on the roads, a hopeless drunk was behind the wheel of a car. With her two small children nestled in the back seat after an afternoon of ice skating, she blacked out and hit a tree. read more

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Mourning the loss of a friendship

This week our best friends are moving away. Far away. And I am sick about it. I can only sit here and feel the weight of this friendship being torn and taken from me. I am not in control. Of this or anything. And I hate it. read more

honestly

How My Friends Helped Me Survive A Family Crisis

Jen opened her front door and held out her hands, reaching for the baby in mine. No words exchanged, but a friend who anticipated my needs before I could articulate them, ready to give my arms a break from holding my squirming baby girl. read more

honestly

An Unlikely Friendship

The sole non-canine inhabitant of the house emerged only occasionally. Petite and sheathed in bulky cardigans even in the heat of a Missouri July, she just had a hermit vibe about her. Yet I was intrigued by the license plate on her hulking SUV - "ALL ONE," it read. read more

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My Friends Helped Me Survive My Husband's Deployment

My cell phone rang and I actually answered it, it would be a treat to talk to another adult. My husband was mid-way through an eight week Army training halfway across the US. I was home alone with three kids under the age of six, and my adult people-speaking skills were beginning to atrophy. read more

honestly

My Friends Helped Me Survive My Husband’s Cancer

I came down with a stomach flu on Jonathan’s first day of chemo. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed with a bucket in one arm and trying to nurse the baby with the other. It felt like everyone needed every part of me, and I had nothing left to give. read more

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When a Friendship Ends

Once upon a time I had a friend. I loved her with my whole heart, and she loved me. Our friendship was beautiful, and then one day . . . it ended. read more

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On Having Hard Conversations

I never realized having difficult conversations in friendships could actually bring a relationship to a deeper, more intimate level. Recently, I sat across from a friend at Starbucks, and she dropped the news that I had hurt her deeply. I was stunned by this news because I was clueless. read more

honestly

Hiding in the Milk Aisle

I’m in the grocery store, speed-walking toward dairy, when I glance down the cereal aisle and spot my neighbor. It’s either hide in the milk or serpentine my way to snack foods. I imagine the hurt look on Doris’s animated face if she knew my intentions. read more

honestly

My Friends Helped Me Survive a House Fire

We had an electrical fire leaving soot and a smoky stench throughout what our three-year old called our “broked house.” My family of five would be displaced for six months as they put humpty dumpty back together again. Practically everything that was “replaceable” would need to be. read more

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Choosing Friendship

Through college and beyond, I kept other girls at a distance. I simply didn’t understand the “girlfriend dynamic.” During that time, I hid behind a demeanor that was, at times, arrogant or aloof. In reality, I was very lonely. read more

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Choose Vulnerability

To know someone is to take all of them in, the good, the bad, and the ugly - the everything. We are complex human beings and when someone really gets us in that raw, guts out kinda way, something clicks into place, and we are at peace. This is life as it was meant to be had. read more

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Unexpected Blessings

Eight years ago I lost my mom to lung cancer. I was unprepared for how difficult the first Christmas would be. My mom celebrated Christmas to the extreme. It was just her “time of the year.” read more

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Gathering to Remember

In our small community, we gather together in the Advent season. We collect prayers and praises, needs and wants, hopes and sorrows, and write them on ornamental wreaths that we hang on the huge evergreen tree in the center of town. The prayers are nearly unanimously for children. read more

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Let the Season Inspire Giving

I looked at my husband with a glimmer in my eye. I looked at him with a sly grin, leaned forward, and whispered in his ear. As we headed toward the car, I looked back for a brief moment. I couldn’t stand to miss it, the moment of recognition. read more

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Being Honest About What I Really Want for Christmas

My husband is not a gift savvy person. Christmas is not a holiday he celebrated growing up. Gift hints go right over his head. One year I blogged about my Christmas wish list. The following year I sent him links, in an email, of gift ideas. I still didn’t manage to get through. read more

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Discarded Treasures

That is what my grandpa always did. He found insignificant leftover bits of scrap, abandoned and disregarded, and delicately fashioned them into something necessary and valuable. He always made enough to share. read more

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What if you Married the Grinch?

Then I met my husband, who hates Christmas. In fact, he hates the entire month of December — mainly because of a father who nearly every year chose that month to be an abusive drunk. In the early years of our marriage, while I would decorate, he would commiserate. read more

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Spreading Love in 8 Ounce Servings

That Christmas my friends and family were treated to beautiful, delicious, homemade and—most importantly—inexpensive jars of pear-and-rosemary preserves. What I once worried would be seen as a cheap excuse for not buying presents has since turned into a much-loved tradition. read more

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What to Get Me for Christmas

If people were going to give her a gift, I wanted them to do it my way. After all, it’s so easy now to make electronic lists with exactly what I want us to receive. There’s really no excuse for someone to not get it right. Until one generous act changed how I saw gift-giving. read more

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The Advent Conspiracy

When a baby arrives, that tiny life alters everything. Their existence redefines how our world turns. Such is the moment when Jesus was born. Life expanded and the world was reshaped. Our friends at the Advent Conspiracy boldly ask each year if Christmas can still change the world. read more

honestly

The Heart of Hospitality

After a few moments, one of the ladies yelled out, “Here for the PTO meeting?” To my shock and horror — I quickly realized I had let myself into a total stranger’s house! I wasn’t looking for a PTO meeting -- I was looking for a lunch that was actually up the street! read more

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The Acorn Tablecloth

I loved that tablecloth, not because it was perfect but because my mom picked it out for me, knowing my style. Little did I know this would be the last Thanksgiving I would have with my mother. read more

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Mobile Hospitality

Because my friend is a mobile hostess. She takes hospitality on the road. Everyone is a guest in her presence. She creates a place for others to feel welcome right where they are. Just as they are. read more

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The Places We Dwell

No matter how casual or official the occasion, entering someone’s dwelling space causes the connection between hosts and guests to swell. There’s something sacred about the places we dwell. read more

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Being Brave when My Girls are Watching

The stroller wheel hit a bump and stopped, but I was still moving forward. The stroller came tumbling down, and I catapulted over it. I felt each part of my body hit the concrete. My shins. Knees. Wrist. I was humiliated. read more

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Courage to Stay Married

We kept our promise. For the last year we've said the hard and good things needing to be said. We don't live in the terse, loud silence anymore. We are us again. But us is irreparably changed, and today I'm so angry about it I can't stop crying on the highway. read more

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Courage to Fall Apart

And so it began. Each sweet mother-daughter moment a reminder of one missed in my own story that can never be recovered. Facing the buried hurts and fears my own “little girl” heart had covered up has been one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. read more

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Courage to Have Another Baby

The little white stick showed a blue cross, and my breath was frozen. It was the seventh time I'd seen that symbol, but my home only had two children running through it. read more

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Courage to Have 'The Talk'

When would we tell our son about his autism? How? We decided several years ago to slowly, inch by inch, lay the groundwork. We wanted the kids to have a firm foundation in knowing everyone is different. read more

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Courage to Own the Whole Story

I was too tired and dazed to even think something bad may have happened. As I ushered him in and sat him down, he proceeded to explain something terrible had happened, and my mother had sent him to share the news. My father was dead. read more

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Embarrassing Stories

What I really want to tell him is how embarrassment and shame are close cousins. How they thrive in the darkness and melt away in the sunlight of sharing. read more

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Bravely Stepping Down

The calendar and my sanity were colliding. I couldn’t live on five hours of sleep endlessly. Something had to go. read more

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Courage to Give Annie a Home

Courage is something we all desire — until we have to actually use it and put it into action. Looking back, there is one time in my life where displaying courage stands out. Honestly, I varied between bravery and wanting to curl up in a ball and hide. read more

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Asher Needs a Pacemaker

On the day of his surgery, my husband carried Asher into the operating room. Laying him on the metal table, we gave him a kiss and surrendered our son to the surgical team. Then we waited. read more

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A Different Kind of Adventure

I wish I was brave. Brave enough to tell my husband that today I thought about leaving the house. Leaving him with the kids because things seemed too overwhelming. read more

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Courage to Stop Pretending

The most courageous thing I have ever done was stop pretending. I was a great pretender. I could smile even though I wanted to fall onto the floor and cry. read more

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The Secret to Being a Grateful Mom (#ILoveYouChallenge)

And even though I felt grateful for them there in the dark, they couldn’t see the smile on my face. They couldn’t hear my prayers. I couldn’t pick them up and twirl them around and dance to long songs with them. read more

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What is Bravery?

I never really considered myself 'the brave one'. Loud, sure. Spontaneous, at times. Joyful, usually. But brave—not so much. Then I asked myself a hard question - the kind that sticks in your throat even when you say it in your head. read more

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What My Daughter Taught Me About Beauty

As she worked on me, I realized how little time I spent on my appearance. When I take the girls to preschool or their early childhood classes, I feel accomplished if their teeth are brushed and their hair is braided, up in buns or pigtails. read more

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A Rose By Any Other Name

Let’s face it, the word feminine has baggage. Not only has it been hijacked by the tampon industry, it has morphed into an insult extraordinaire. read more

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I Am Beautiful And I Know It

The boys are asleep tucked in their bunk beds. It’s the after-hours, filled with dark chocolate and folding laundry. The hours in which mothers remember they are human. read more

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Compassion is meant to be shared

When I saw pictures of little children growing up in such poverty, my “mommy heart” just couldn’t bear it. read more

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The Day I Showered

Backing silently from the lamb swing, I ignored dirty dishes, an overflowing laundry hamper, the kitchen trash. With only one mission, I sidestepped a dust bunny the size of a tumbleweed into the shower. read more

honestly

The Day I Packed My Bags and Ran

I packed my bags and ran out of my apartment crying and desperate. I had no idea where I was going. What would I do, leave my family forever? I wanted to, but inside I heard the voice of guilt say I would regret such a decision. read more

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Bully in the Lingerie Store

His lies were familiar. I had heard them as a pimply-faced teenager and later as a new mom come to terms with a body that wouldn’t squeeze back into designer jeans. read more

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Lipstick on a New Mom

After three days of caring for a new human on almost no sleep and with zero experience, my confidence was gone. I smiled weakly back at the stranger. If the lipstick wasn’t right for me, I was too tired to care. read more

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True Femininity

I stare at myself in the mirror, looking deep into the eyes of the woman in front of me. I give myself a smile, finding it hard to believe she is really me. read more

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I'm Not Worth It

In the mothering years that surrounded that day, my wardrobe suffered seriously. After all those pregnancy/post-pregnancy stages, I couldn’t bring myself to spend money on clothes for myself or for my changing body. read more

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Desperately Seeking Me

I was Dave’s wife and Abbie’s mom; somehow my own identity had become lost. Over the next few months, I set out on a quest to find myself. In the process, I learned four keys to discovering and celebrating my individuality once again. read more

honestly

I See You

Most marriage advice typically follows two trendy patterns: a list so exhaustive it makes you want to cry, or a takeaway so neatly packaged you'd trust it as much as you'd trust a grimy gold-toothed salesman. read more

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It's Not Just You

Now I am over my hesitation in bringing up my own experiences, in the appropriate venue, in the hope that I can help another woman realize that she is not alone. read more

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Getting Our Play On

I threw myself into planning activities that contained one critical element - be as ridiculously kid-like as much as possible. To my delight, he was game. read more

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Having Kids Didn't Ruin My Sex Life

Even before I had my first baby, I’d heard the horror stories – intimate moments thwarted by crying infants or curious toddlers, partners inhibited by yours, mine and ours breast confusion and romantic moods generally dampened by post-baby body-image woes read more

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Meet You On the Porch

We simply look at each other and say, “Meet you on the porch.” It’s our meeting spot, our attempt at connecting at the end of the day before we once again turn our attention to the four children who are constantly demanding it. read more

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Treasure the Moment

He said it sweetly enough and was holding a dandelion in my direction. It must have been the 269th dandelion he gave me this year and at the moment with sweat threatening to trickle down my back and with the house all locked up, I didn't want a dandelion. read more

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What Women (Really) Want

Because this is what we’re hungry for, isn’t it, friends? A love so deep and long and wide and high it fills every crevice of our souls; a kind of love that would die for us, a kind that sings over us, a kind that walks through fire with us? read more

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Love, Marriage and Crumbs

During my absence, one of three events had apparently taken place in my kitchen: a grenade had been tossed in through the open window, fifty head of cattle had stopped by to graze, or my husband had made himself a sandwich. read more

honestly

Fights

I glared over at Derek sitting on my college futon that acted as the apartment’s central piece of furniture. I softly laughed, hoping that would break the tension. We couldn’t come to the phone right now, that was for sure; we weren’t in the mood to talk to anyone. read more

honestly

Polar Opposites Attract

Fifteen years ago, I met my husband. A tall, athletic, quiet person, who preferred to be left alone to work on his math and economics, so he could blare punk rock as loud as his heart desired. read more

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Truth-Telling

At our house every topic is open for discussion. My kids ask questions about sex, injustice and are thoroughly interested in discussing cuss words and why we shouldn’t use them. read more

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7 Reasons Women Should Love Their Bodies

We lament our post-baby physique, the loss of firm muscles and slim curves and we forget, the miracle of pregnancy lost in the folds and the blue veins lacing up our legs like Crayola marker. But what if our stretch marks were in fact, scars we bore proudly? read more

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You Are Already Living Brave

"Shhhhhh, it’s okay, Mommy’s here." Words I whisper often in the dark. I take my fingers and push her hair away from her forehead. I do my best with my presence and my words to reassure both of us that she indeed will be okay. That she is safe. That I will take care of her. read more

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A Letter to Miss Indiana USA

Dear Miss Indiana, I don’t normally approve of pageants. But when women like you take the stage and boldly strip the world of its lies, I do. read more

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Setting Aside the “Hurry Up, We’re Late” Life

I noticed recently how many times I say “hurry, we’re late” in any given morning. One time hurry mode was traumatizing enough that it still makes me think twice about uttering that phrase. I was running through Target before school pickup, short on time as usual, and at the last minute, I reme read more

honestly

35 Steps to (Prepare to Go) Camping with a Toddler

Camping. It always sounds like such a good idea when you reserve the campsite in February. You are sure potty training will be successful and done and all the sleep issues in your house will be resolved by summer. Then the camping trip arrives. read more

honestly

Because Sometimes Bedtime Takes Forever

Five minutes earlier we had been laughing. But now I pulled her blankets up, kissed her round, peach cheeks, and saw a flash of sadness and fear in her eyes. She held her breath for a moment, the words spilled out: “I don’t want my teeth to fall out!” read more

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To The Working Mom: You Are Every Mom

You, with your hands in the soapy water barely able to keep your eyes open because you're pulling a night shift scrubbing floors for minimum wage. You, fighting to keep your family out of debt because your husband lost his job, YOU. read more

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Priceless

The world tries to make us feel inadequate and discontent. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves of the beauty within. read more

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Finding Gifts in My Story

Some women enter motherhood with a solid foundation,a clear plan for raising their families. Then there are those women who pull into the hospital labor room with a U-Haul full of emotional baggage that has to be sorted with the diapers and bottles. I’m a card-carrying member of the latter group. read more

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How Homeschooling Turned Me Into a Writer

The smell of ancient paper still makes me want to sob, the way spines line up like soldiers on the wooden shelves of small-town libraries. I know they would defend me if they could, those armies of words. read more

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How to Lighten Up in a Crowd

How to Lighten Up, or what to do when you’re not the “fun” one “She’s so fun!” has never been someone’s initial description of me. But if you need a friend to call to cry with you, then Darling I’m your girl. You see I tend toward the heavy not the silly. I always have. read more

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Tips to Inspire Intimate Moments

Has your love life gone from hot, hot, hot to room temp since becoming a parent? Well, we're here with some outside-the-bedroom ideas for spicing up inside-the-bedroom activities. read more

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5 Things I Refuse to Feel Guilty for As a Mother

I believe in the mother-instinct. I believe in GUT, versus GUILT. So here are five things in particular I refuse to apologize for.I will not feel guilty for letting my kids watch some television. It allows me to read my Bible in the morning and drink a mug of hot coffee. read more

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Me? That mom? Are you sure?

“I just didn’t think I’d be that mom” I knew my friend would understand, “you know the one with all girls.” My husband Derek and I were still reeling from the ultrasound results that yes, we were going to have a third girl. (Check out the giveaway at the bottom!) read more

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It’s Okay to “Just” be a Mother

I showered before 10 am today because I was taking my kids on a play date. I pulled on jeans instead of sweats, slid some lip gloss across my lips, combed my hair and put on some perfume and then remembered, I didn't have a vehicle. read more

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Prioritizing Our Marriage

If I had to be honest, marriage wasn't what I expected. Now don’t get me wrong, there was a lot about it I loved, but it was much more challenging than I ever imagined. My husband, Greg and I, became “stuck” pretty fast when it came to working through our differences and handling conflict. read more

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How I Love My Kids by Loving their Dad

I frequently hear I am the best mom for my kids. But when I begin to recount the reasons why I’m a good mom, I usually come up with a laundry list of how I serve them. But Darling, here is the most honest truth about my family, one of the best ways I love my kids is by loving their dad. read more

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This Mother is Trading Facebook for Face-Time

He stares up at me with his father's eyes and it's five in the morning, books strewn all over his bed and his two year old hands reaching up to touch my face. No, I'm shaking my head, no, it's not time to get up yet, but it's too late. He's up. read more

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Bad Mommy Moments

Last week I was sitting at work in my “happy place.” I was so thankful that my girlfriend had volunteered to pick Annie up from kindergarten so I could really get a lot accomplished. I glanced down at my watch and saw 3:27pm. I continued working—and then it hit—“GARRISON!” I had forgotte read more

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In Which I Am Learning to Live with the Ache

Our old baby crib is now sitting in pieces in the garage. . It’s in rough shape after nearly eight years and three big babies-to-toddlers in quick succession. There are a lot of sacred memories hidden in that dismantled old crib. The day we took it apart, I cried over that junky old crib. read more

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The Day We Renovated the Nursery and Book Giveaway

Today when we renovated the nursery, I saw it. He was standing in the doorway when I asked him if we could move the change table and the crib because we've been trying for a year now, honey, and we have two foster boys who could use this room, and that's when he looked away. read more

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The Upside-Down Marriage

Sometimes all is not as it initially seems. It's often that way with marriage. Here are a few expert questions to give indication about the health of a marriage. read more

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A Peek Into This Blogger’s Everyday Marriage

No man is perfect, and Trent will say things that unintentionally hurt me, or he’ll forget to take out the trash, but I will also do things–like forget his birthday, as I did one year–and ours is the kind of marriage that throbs with love read more

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Everyone Wants a Piece of Me!

Sexual intimacy is one of the most precious gifts given to us in marriage. But, why then, do I consistently not pursue him, knowing it is a great need for him and also brings great benefits to our marriage relationship? Because---I’m tired. As I am sure most of you are. read more

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The Myth of the Beverly Hills Housewife

I was the shy girl with second-hand clothes, permed bangs, big plastic glasses and braces. I was chased around the playground for eating jam and cheese sandwiches and soon I stopped eating altogether, because the girls were all so pretty and skinny and boys seemed to like that. read more

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Do The Thing

It started with the sandwiches I made one-handed while breastfeeding. Then there were countless school projects, birthday favors, teacher gifts and other creative cuttings done in the dark of family movie night. read more

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The Power of Empathy

Connecting with others - truly connecting with them - requires us to be brave with our own stories. This short, animated video explains. read more

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Why Suffering is Key to a Successful Marriage

I find it hard to share anything, period. I find it hard to share my closet, my bed, my heart, because I’ve been hurt too many times and I’m scared of pain. I’m scared of being let down by someone, and I’m scared of suffering. read more

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Circle of Trust

Whether the circle be abundant or sparse, relationships provide context for life. It’s where we experience love, humor, anger, grace, purpose, pain. Without relationships, we wouldn’t experience life. This is March’s theme on Hello, Darling: relationships. read more

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Introducing Emily T. Wierenga to the Hello, Darling Family

Darling, we want to introduce you to Emily. She’s been sharing her eloquent words and thoughtful perspective on Hello, Darling for the past month. We’ve enjoyed having her around so much, we’ve asked her to make a home here read more

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The Bad Mother Movement vs. The Good Mother Myth

I have a theory of my own. The Bad Mother movement, and the Good Mother Myth, have nothing to do with our children, and everything to do with who we feel we are as women. read more

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The Bad Mom Persona

I’ll confess I’ve been part of the bad mom movement. Well, never intentionally. read more

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My Beautiful Woman

We have been talking about beauty this month on Hello, Darling. We have talked about the obvious types of beauty – physical beauty and beauty in our homes – be we’ve also touched on finding beauty through the eyes of your child and the beauty of relationships. read more

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How to Be Beautiful No Matter the Day

And that's what these African women taught me--that my circumstance does not determine my soul. That how I lift my head and dress my body and do my hair is up to me. We can change our surroundings by dressing in bright colors. We can bring light to a dark place by how we walk into it. read more

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44 Things We’ve Said to Our Kids to Get Them to Eat

I still roll my eyes when I remember the pediatrician – not our regular doctor – who questioned what, and how much, we were feeding our 18 month old son. Truett was in the 30th percentile or so for weight and average height. This boy was – and still is – s-k-i-n-n-y. read more

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Bellies, Bikinis & True Love

A bikini is no longer an option for me. After two pregnancies, my stretched out bellybutton turns down on both ends like it's frowning. These days I want to be fully clothed when doing push ups or holding the plank position. read more

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Noticing What’s Right in Front of Me

“Look” her voice was not whiny or demanding, it was awe struck. “Look Mommy each one is different.” And isn’t this cliché? I thought. My child taking time to smell the roses, teaching me to see with new eyes. read more

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Fight for Your Friendships

When I was in college, I got to know a girl named Kari in the most unique way. You see, I was dating the guy that she previously dated and she wanted to know who his “new” girl was. read more

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My Babies Saved My Body

I lean into the bathroom mirror, flecked with toothpaste from the boys' toothbrushes, find the girl there beneath the tired bags and the smile lines, the girl who was told she would never have children because of the way she'd wrecked her body at thirteen. read more

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Moms Who Change the World, Part Four

When Carrie Burnett was a little girl, she wanted to change the world. And she is. But not in the way she once imagined. read more

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The Greatest Lesson We Can Teach Our Children

And this is the greatest lesson we can teach our children: to love. To take care of one another. To lean spirits wearily against the other and hold each other up--not tear each other down, because nothing good can come from anger. read more

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Moms Who Change the World, Part Three

Elizabeth took a trip. When she got home she left her position as a legislative aide for the Ohio State House of Representatives and returned to graduate school. She studied public policy and international studies... what she did next was amazing. read more

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Moms Who Change the World, Part Two

When Angela Klocke was thirteen, she met a guy. He was older, and Angela thought she was in love. Though she did not recognize it at the time, Angela had moved from one abusive home into another. Over the next seven years she and her baby moved frequently as her husband ran from the law. read more

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Moms Who Change the World, Part One

Every Thursday this month, we are going to share the story of a mom who is changing the world. Because, together, we moms change the world on a daily basis. read more

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A Lesson in Letting Go

Emma was losing her first tooth yesterday. All day long I watched my daughter wandering the house, her half-open mouth in a state of tongue-working wonder. read more

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Celebrate the Little Things

I practically came out of the womb with a to-do list in my hand. So with Will, my first child, I attacked things such as potty training and teaching him to dress himself with the precision of a special operations team member. In my mind, these were tasks easily conquered. read more

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Choosing Love

Can I ask you something personal? How many times have you fallen in love? Once? Twice? One thousand times and counting? A little more than fifteen years into marriage, I’ve learned that once the newness wears off, love is not a hapless romantic fall into love, rather it is a powerful conscious cho read more

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Shirtless Nostalgia

15 years ago I went for a run along the beach in San Diego. Accompanied by my roommate, we laced up our running shoes and set out for a Saturday morning jog. As we jogged along this treacherous piece of coast I noticed a guy running toward us. He was wearing a pair of running shorts, no shirt and wa read more

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Two-Hearted Woman

Brittany Tuttle was a long-time blogger for us before her life moved across the country and we moved to Hello, Darling. She reflects with beautiful words on the ways motherhood requires her to give of herself, moreso as her daughters get older. read more

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Traditions

This is our first Christmas with Reagan. And although I know she won’t remember it, my husband and I are in the throes of making lots of “tradition” decisions - traditions will we keep, traditions we will let go, new traditions to start. There are a lot of decisions. read more

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Thankful for Reality

You see Darling, somewhere along the way I’ve missed the Thanksgiving commercials with the mom trying to nurse the baby in the corner of the packed living room. One hand struggling to keep her kicking babe on her breast, the other pulling the blanket back over her shoulder for the ten zillionth ti read more

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Five Date Challenge? Challenge Accepted.

Last Saturday night the stars aligned in our universe. The children who live in our house, the womb-mates as we affectionately refer to them, were each invited to various sleepovers. Three kids. Three sleepovers. ON THE SAME NIGHT. read more

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Slow Down, Ma'am

This morning, I found myself on the wrong side of the law, and lacking the necessary documentation to back up my right to be behind the wheel of my car. That’s right, ladies – I started my morning with a friendly chat with a local policeman. read more

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Pregnancy & Infancy Loss Awareness Month

1 year, 7 months and 12 days ago I lost my son to a pregnancy complication. He was just 20 weeks along and I was heartbroken. Grief came on me in waves. read more

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An Open Letter to Myself

So I wrote a little letter to myself—not the me of today, but the me of three years ago, the me who was very suddenly aware of Down syndrome but who hadn’t really figured out what that meant. read more

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Leave Your Past Hurts Behind and Become a Better You

As a new mom, I wrestled with my past. I came from a home I didn’t want to duplicate and worried constantly that I’d rehash what happened back then. I’d watch my children sleep, fretting that I’d ruin them, all the while haunted by voices telling me I’d never be a good mother. read more

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Lady Parts and All Those Things I Haven't Mastered Yet

I feel like there are tons of things about being a woman, an adult and a mom that I should know, but I don’t. It’s like I missed the day in high school when all of the teachers shared highly classified information about how to function as an adult. read more

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When a Friend is Going Through a Crisis and There is NOTHING You Can Do

This week I had a friend going through a crisis, a time when her life felt upside down. It had to do with her child, his safety, and all she could do was wait. Wait for news. There was nothing she could do. And there was certainly nothing I could do. read more

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The Gift Giver

My husband is a fabulous gift-giver. It’s one of my favorite things about him. And now... now, he has passed that along to one of our children. read more

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What I Want My Daughter to See When She Looks at Me

As I watch my daughter grow and develop and I see the wonder of what her little body can do and the potential her life holds, I am met slap-faced with the realization that what I want my daughter to see when she looks at Mommy and what I see when I look at myself are miles apart. read more

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Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl

My big girl turned five this week. While I watched her eyes light up as she opened her birthday gifts, I thought about all of the gifts she has given me in the five years + gestation we’ve been together. read more

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Losing Time and Finding Time

I lost my watch last week. While it's been lost I've been finding time for things I'd nearly forgotten. I'm finding peace in being less of what I should be or think I need to be, and being more of who I was created me to be. read more

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What I Tell My Daughter About Her Hair

It’s her distinguishing feature. Something that sets her apart from her crowd of sisters. A compliment getter almost every day…well an attention grabber at least. It’s blonde and curly and wild. It’s unruly. And noticeable. And people tend to love it or … read more

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Cue the Tears

No friends to make idle conversation with, no one to sit next to, no friends to de-brief with about what we thought about the teachers and my beloved friend Jen who has a kindred heart and knows my secrets is 1500 miles away. read more

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Back to School

Back to school is full of new. It's like the beginning of a new year, a point to make changes and see new potential for my kids, for me... for our family. read more

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Sea Glass

We recently returned from a seaside vacation, and it was the most fun we’ve ever had as a family. Picture a hidden cove tucked away behind a coastal forest, accessed by a single lane of crumbling road and shrouded in mist on this particular late afternoon... read more

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My Life According to Instagram

If you were to follow me on Instagram, you might be overwhelmed by the cuteness. But I’ll be honest, it doesn’t include the messiest parts of my life. read more

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Inside the Married Man’s Mind

More and more relationship experts are starting to suggest that there is great healing power in knowing when it's best not to talk. Here are seven scenarios that highlight the mistake most women make. read more

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That time I took back the dinner party

Realizing she needed to model hospitality to build it in her children, Mandy did the unthinkable. Can you guess? She invited friends over for dinner ... right now. read more

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A Man's Perspective on Bedroom Activities

Mandy and her husband talk through the most common sexcuses (you know, reasons to put off sex) and what's important to guys when it comes to intimacy. read more

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Why Equality is Overrated

I mean, really, what’s “fair”? My kids would say fair means equal. We should all get the same. But you and I know that’s not how the world works. read more

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Anger

Admitting my anger to someone else brought it into the light — and it wasn't a big scary monster seeking to devour me, it was an issue that should and could be addressed. read more

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The Princess Fairy Unicorn

Instead of being embarrassed by her daughter's imagination {and clothing ensemble!}, this mom chooses to embrace it. After all, you're only four once. read more

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Not JUST a Stay-at-Home Mom

As a girl, I was told that I could be anything, but rarely encouraged to pursue full-time motherhood. In society's zeal to open up the doors of possibility, they've given the impression that caring for a home and family is beneath the enlightened woman. read more

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Motherhood is Not Glamorous

There are lots of words you might use to describe being a mom: rewarding, challenging, fun, messy, incredible. But one thing it isn't ... motherhood is not glamorous. read more

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Why?

It is easy for us as moms to get caught up in the “whys” of our children’s behavior. We might worry about traits they have inherited from us, attitudes they pick up from us, or even (yikes!) words they repeat from us. read more

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Enough

I don’t like feeling out of control. But the truth is, no matter how much I plan ahead, sometimes motherhood is hard. No amount of planning ahead can prevent toddler meltdowns and messy houses. read more

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Home of the Brave

As a mother of preschoolers, it may be the “home of the brave,” but it is definitely not the “land of the free!” read more

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"I Just Want to Be With You"

Believe me, I adore my sweet girl. I love her giggle, her yummy hugs, the way she takes care of her “daughters” (her family of dolls—all girls, of course). But the thing is, people, I have a lot to do! read more

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Help! My Sex Drive Drove Away!

What happened to the sensual times you used to enjoy with your mate? One of the most common experiences that moms face is the sudden loss of their libido or sex-drive. Often we want to desire sex and yet cannot summon it. read more

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The Best Migraine Day Ever

My house is full of dump trucks and robots and stinky shoes. But one day last summer, those sticky little boys took me by surprise. read more

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In the Company of Baby

At four months old, my daily companion only chats in a language I don't understand. “Ah-goo, brrrr phlechhhh” translates to some brilliant narrative in baby speak, I’m sure, but to a monolingual mom, it’s just cute nonsense. read more

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A Mom's Apology

Just when I think I have it all down, I am humiliated by a lack of self-control. My lasting impression, echoing down the hallway with empty threats, verifies not that certain behavior is unacceptable, but rather that mom is crazy. read more

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Lessons from a 3-Year-Old

Sometimes the best way to see the world is through the eyes of a child. read more

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Wanting to be Her

Maybe you know a woman who seemingly has it together: a good marriage, the great career, sweet kids? She is dependable, graceful and surrounded by friends? She seems perfect. I wanted to be her. read more

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My Friends Think I’m Crazy

I have moments of free time where I can take a bath and not worry about little hands finding their way under the door. But I want to start over. I want to be needed. read more

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Fields of Dreams

When we prayed for God to help our family thrive, he helped us by closing the doors on the dream life we had chosen and opening doors to the better life he designed for us. read more

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How to Save a Bird

I typically ignore thumps and clunks that I hear around the house. But this one caused quite the commotion. read more

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Our Kitchen Counter

As I watch the boys grow up far too quickly in this house, I think about the time we've spent around this kitchen counter. read more

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My Hospital Confession

I have a confession: I didn't feel that “instant love” that moms talk about when they first see their child. Please understand, I love my child. I loved her before I saw her, before I held her. But I just didn't feel that instant bond I expected. read more

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The Journey of Healing

Life continued, despite my heart, mind and body feeling crippled, forever changed, by the trauma of my baby’s death at birth. It was the first sign that grieving would be a highly personal journey. But one no one has to take alone. read more

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Women and Depression

A lot of women in my MOPS group (including me) have struggled with depression — both postpartum and depression in general. What form of treatment do you recommend? read more

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Queen for a Day

Happy Mother's Day to me. All I really wanted was a few quite minutes and a hot shower but what this mom-of-five got was ... read more

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Talking to My Preschooler About Death

I sat down with Paisley to share with her that Gramma had died, and she was in Heaven with Jesus. I didn't dramatize the details, and I didn't offer a lengthy explanation. read more

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The Mom Connection

In just a couple minutes, with few words spoken, moms connect. They connect simply over the mere fact that they are MOMS. Even before delivery... read more

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The Baby Registry Shuffle

I've changed the pack n’ play three times on my baby registry, the highchair twice, and I go back and forth deleting and re-adding the adorable birdie swing. Who knew there would be so much pressure registering for a tiny, new person? I mean, it’s just stuff, right!?! read more

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I Think You Should Know

Sometimes I’m afraid to post too much about Roo. I don’t want to just be the “special needs mom,” just like I want Roo to be viewed as more than a “special needs kid." read more

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Light Bulb Moment

A long lasting light bulb causes a mom to look to the future and cherish today. read more